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LA City Tenant Anti Harassment

Prepared By: Melissa C. Marsh, Los Angeles Landlord-Tenant Attorney
Written: February 2022

LA City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance

Unknown to many landlords in the City of Los Angeles is the LA City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance (TAHO - #187109 applicable to ALL rentals within the city of Los Angeles, including single family homes, condos, duplexes, triplexes, and apartment buildings whether rent controlled or not. The Los Angeles City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance went into effect on August 6, 2021.

The LA City Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance prohibits landlords from engaging in any conduct that a reasonable person would find was intended to either (1) disturb a tenant's right to quiet enjoyment (implied in every rental agreement), or to (2) pressure the tenant to move. The LA City Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance may be deemed violated by an unsuspecting landlord who simply offers a tenant a cash for keys, or buyout offer, without first providing the required disclosures (if the rental property is subject to the RSO), or making such an offer more than once in any six month time period. The LA City Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance may also be deemed violated if a landlord is simply trying to perform a routine inspection of a rental without a proper 24 Hour Notice of Intended Entry, or with a proper Notice of Entry if the landlord attempts to enter too many times, or for a purpose not allowed.

Under the LA City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance, "Tenant Harassment" is defined as:

"a landlord's knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific tenant that seriously alarms or annoys the tenant, and that serves no legitimate purpose.″ LAMC § 45.33.

In the City of Los Angeles, a tenant can bring a valid claim of Tenant Harassment if:

  1. A landlord reduces or removes a housing service provided in the lease (e.g., parking, storage, washer/dryer, etc...);
  2. A landlord refuses or fails to perform needed maintenance or repairs in a timely manner, or fails to follow applicable industry standards to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead paint, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts;
  3. A landlord abuses the right to access the rental unit by: (a) entering without service of a proper 24 hour notice of entry or consent, (b) entering for a purpose not permitted under the code, (c) entering too often, or (d) photographing areas that are beyond the scope of a lawful entry or inspection;
  4. A landlord Intentionally disturbs a tenant's right to the quiet enjoyment of the premises, or interferes with a tenant's right to privacy;
  5. A landlord tries to coerce a tenant to move-out with a buyout offer or cash for keys without advising the tenant of their rights under city, county or state laws. For landlords who own a rent stabilized rental in the City of Los Angeles, harassment includes offering payment to a tenant to vacate their unit without first providing the required written Buyout Disclosure Notice required by the Los Angeles RSO. Note: West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Culver City offer similar protections even to tenant's in single family homes;
  6. A landlord uses lies or intimidation intended to make a tenant move out, or falsely claims or misrepresents facts about the tenancy to imply that the tenant must move;
  7. A landlord threatens a tenant with physical harm;
  8. A landlord threatens to evict, or actually serves a notice of eviction (3 Day, 30 Day or 60 Day Notice) based on false reasons, reasons not permitted under the law, or that has no reasonable chance of prevailing in Court;
  9. A landlord refuses to accept a rent payment from a tenant, or fails to deposit a rent check received within 30 days of receiving it;
  10. A landlord inquires about the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant; Threatens to disclose the tenant's immigration/citizenship status; Threatens to disclose a tenant's information to a government agency to influence a tenant to move; or engages in activity prohibited by federal, state, or local housing anti-discrimination laws;
  11. A landlord threatens/interferes with a tenant's organizing activities (tenant associations and unions); OR
  12. Any other repeated acts or omissions that substantially interfere with or disturb a tenant's comfort, peace or quiet and that cause, are likely to cause, or are committed with the objective to cause a tenant to vacate or waive his/her rights.

The Penalty for Violation of The LA City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance is up to $15,000 per act.

Under the Los Angeles City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance, a tenant may not only use the landlord's violation of the ordinance as an affirmative defense in any eviction action, but the tenant can also sue their landlord and anyone assisting the landlord in violating the ordinance even if the tenant remains in possession of the rental.

Pursuant to the Los Angeles City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance, a tenant may sue for: (1) actual damages, (2) emotional distress damages, (3) up to $10,000 ($15,000 if the tenant is 65+) for each separate harassing act, and (4) reasonable attorney fees and costs. The ordinance also makes each violation of the Los Angeles City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance, a misdemeanor with a $1000 additional fine.

If it is discovered that a tenant vacated a rent-controlled unit because the landlord violated the Los Angeles City Tenant Anti Harassment Ordinance, the City of Los Angeles will also reset the maximum allowable rent (MAR) for the vacated rental unit back to the allowable rent in effect at the time the harassed tenant vacated.

© 2022 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved.

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Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site was prepared by Melissa C. Marsh for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided in my articles and alerts should not be relied upon, or used as a substitute for professional legal advice from an attorney you retain to advise or represent you. Your use of this Internet site does not create an attorney- client relationship. Transmission of this article is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All uses of the contents of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited. You may print or email a copy of any information posted on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial, use, but you may not publish any of the articles or posts on this web site without the Express Written Permission of Melissa C. Marsh.

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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.