Crucial Tenant Protections Won for Foreclosure Evictions in Los Angeles
On December 6, 2011, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to extend the City’s Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance to protect tenants Living in rental properties not subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) from eviction on the grounds of foreclosure for another year. This Ordinance prohibits lenders from evicting any tenants in the City merely because of foreclosure on their landlords. Tenants living in rent controlled units have had these protections.
Multi-family rental units built after 1978 and all single-family home rentals are not subject to the City’s rent control law.
The Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance was originally passed in December 17, 2008 and extended every year since in response to a national crisis that has not subsided.
Testifying before the LA City Council in support of the extension, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross stated, “The foreclosure crisis and its impact on hardworking Americans is a national disgrace. It’s especially unjust for the forgotten victims — tenants.
They’ve done nothing wrong. Paid their rent on time. But, suddenly these heartless banks want to evict them simply because they’re living in foreclosed rental property.
Yet, these same bank bandits received billions in bailout paid for by these tenants and other taxpayers.”
Gross went on to say, “We applaud this Council for its decisive action three years ago, in providing national leadership by enacting the strongest tenant foreclosure protections in the country. It provides tenants with a little bit of hope and justice. This action is an action needed to help keep these banks accountable.”
City Council President Eric Garcetti who has been the main supporter and author of the ordinance 3 1/2 years ago said, “We wanted to make sure tenants living in homes, and remember 20-25% of homes are occupied by renters, and apartment buildings would not be the innocent victims of the bank crisis.”
Garcetti proclaimed, ìThis is one of the most important things we have done in this City and each year we’ve extended it because the crisis simply is not over.
Today, we stand up again, and say Los Angeles won’t stand for this.”
Council Member Bill Rosendahl echoed, “It provides tenants’ protection. It’s as simple as that.”
Since 2007, in the City of Los Angeles approximately 46,000 properties have been subject to foreclosure. Census data establishes that 20-25% of single-family homes in the City are occupied by renters.
Data for 2011 indicates that the foreclosure crisis has not abated since the Council adopted the Foreclosure Eviction Ordinance. Nearly 10,400 properties have been subject to foreclosure in 2010 and approximately 7,600 properties have been subject to foreclosure during the first nine months of 2011. Foreclosures also continue to occur in primarily lower-income neighborhoods where evicted tenants of foreclosed properties cannot afford unnecessary relocation costs.