The City Council moved forward on a proposal Tuesday to codify and reinstate a COVID-19 policy to ensure tenants can keep pets in their rental units without fear of eviction.
Council members voted 14-0, with Councilman Crane Price absent during the vote, in favor of the proposal. The recommendation calls for the city attorney’s office to draft an ordinance to amend the city’s pet laws as they relate to rental units.
Specifically, the law, if passed, would require landlords and building managers to allow any pets living in rental housing units until the tenant moves or relocates the animal. don’t do it Additionally, tenants will be required to notify their landlords of any pets that were acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daniel Yokelson, CEO of the Greater Los Angeles Apartment Association, told City News Service that he is concerned about the implications of the law for landlords.
Pets can cause problems for other tenants in the building who may be allergic to them, scare them or possibly cause a “bad incident” as a result, he said.
“Especially, when you replace a unit, there’s often some damage left behind like stained carpet or other property damage,” Yokelson added.
“The City Council has once again created another burden for rental housing providers,” Yokelson said. “It just keeps adding up.” People will want to get out of the rental business and not want to live in Los Angeles.
The council’s Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment, and Housing and Homelessness committees previously approved the recommendation.
In October, Larry Gross, president of the city’s Board of Animal Services Commissioners, presented the request to the three-panel Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee.
By restoring the policy, it would prevent many tenants from being evicted as a result of their pets, Gross said. She added that many people surrender their pets because landlords need them, or because pets can lead to eviction.
In March 2020, the City Council adopted COVID-related tenant protections allowing tenants living in “no pets” buildings to foster or adopt animals. However, the city withdrew those protections when it lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency earlier this year.
“There are many situations right now for tenants who have brought animals in, are in violation of their rental agreement or their lease because they are using those pets as emotional support animals during the pandemic,” Gross told the committee. were brought as
She noted that some of these animals have been living with their families for almost four years, and to tell them they have to give up their pets is “cruel.”
“It’s going to have tenants choosing whether to give up a family member, relocate or go out on the streets,” Gross said.
The proposal to reinstate the policy would allow animals living in rental units to remain there. When the animals leave or the tenants leave, the landlord or property owner can change the unit back to a “no pets” unit or continue to allow pets.
The proposal would still allow landlords or property owners to file evictions on certain grounds, such as if an animal creates a nuisance or presents a danger to other tenants.
“So it all stands, but it basically recognizes that we can’t go against our policy of trying to deal with overcrowding (in our shelters),” Gross said.