COVID-19 EVICTION UPDATES
*All guidance and resources provided here are not a substitute for legal advice and should be used in conjunction with a trusted lawyer or legal aid attorney. If you are in need of legal assistance or need to speak with an attorney, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. We will make every effort to return your call within 24-48 hours.
Unable to Pay Rent Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic? – A list of next steps and best practices to follow for renters and tenants having trouble paying rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including a list of trusted legal and attorney resources available for little or no cost. Read here.
Sample Letter – A sample letter for renters and tenants to use in order to notify their landlord if they are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter must be dated and signed. Always save a copy of the letter and any responses from your landlord. See sample letter here. (PDF) (Español – PDF)
Current Status of Efforts to Limit Evictions During Covid-19 Pandemic (Updated May 15, 2020) – The laws concerning eviction during the pandemic are changing every day and vary from city to city. Inner City Law Center is providing up to date information on the most recent actions taken to limit evictions in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenants. Read here.
Inner City Law Center’s Eviction Prevention Project seeks to preserve safe and decent housing for low-income tenants in Los Angeles. Our focus on homelessness prevention is rooted in ICLC’s founding principle that every person should always be treated with dignity and respect.
Tens of thousands of eviction actions are filed in Los Angeles County each year, and the numbers are increasing because of the ongoing economic and foreclosure crises. At ICLC, we routinely see foreclosing banks illegally evicting tenants from apartment buildings, landlords illegally evicting low-income tenants for daring to complain about slum conditions, and families in danger of losing the homes where they have lived for decades because a single rent payment was late. Without legal representation, many of these tenants will be evicted and end up on the streets. ICLC’s innovative homelessness prevention programs recognize that it is far more effective to stop illegal evictions from occurring, rather than dealing with the human and financial costs of homelessness.
The Importance of Representation
The vast majority of tenants facing eviction are not represented by counsel. A 1998 study of 400 eviction cases in Los Angeles found that tenants were represented by attorneys in only 11 cases (2.8 percent). Landlords, in contrast, were represented in 290 of those 400 cases (72.5 percent). Having a lawyer makes a tremendous difference in an eviction case. Without a lawyer, tenants are almost always evicted. A study by ICLC Board of Advisors Member and UCLA Law Professor Gary Blasi followed 150 randomly selected tenants who did not have lawyers, and found none of them (0%) won at trial. Another study found that tenants who are represented by counsel are more likely than landlords to favorably settle their case or to win at trial.
Inner City Law Center is part of a collaborative project that provide representation to low-income tenants facing eviction.
- Shriver Project – Los Angeles: This pilot homelessness prevention project is a collaboration with Neighborhood Legal Services, Public Counsel, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. For low-income tenants facing eviction at the Downtown Los Angeles Courthouse, Inner City Law Center provides free legal counsel that aims to keep people in their homes and off the streets.
Our homelessness prevention staff works closely with volunteer attorneys to represent low-income tenants facing illegal eviction and keep them from becoming homeless. For more information about how you can help with this project please visit our Get Involved page or contact our Director of Pro Bono at Probono@innercitylaw.org. For more information about how Inner City Law Center can help you please visit our Get Help page.
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ICLC acknowledges L.A .CARE for supporting this program.