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What You Need To Know About Renter Protections With Pets Right Now

A woman with light-tone skin dressed in black stands outside on her porch, holding a white chihuahua and giving it a kiss.
Julie Turner holds her dog Dobby who she says has helped her recover from debilitating brain aneurysms. Here she is outside of her Covina townhome where she and her family have recently received a notice to vacate for violating the building's pet policy.
(Samanta Helou Hernandez
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Wake up, wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month. And you know what that means: it’s time to dig in your little piggy bank and pay to live another month in that $2,000-plus apartment that’s been keeping you warm. It’s a good thing the gas bill could be going down this month. But while we’re on the subject of rent, let’s chat about the status of COVID-era eviction protections.

Despite Current Protections, Renters With Unauthorized Pets Face Eviction Threats

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Just last week, I told you that the L.A. County Board of Supervisors extended these protections for two more months. My colleague, David Wagner, who covers housing for us, talked to How To LA Podcast Host Brian De Los Santos to answer some of your questions about these constant extensions and general confusion around these protections and restrictions. David wrote a guide on everything renters need to know, but here’s some more confusion to add to the mix:

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, L.A. County put protections in place to allow renters to keep pets, even if not approved under their lease. But now, according to the latest reporting from David, even with these ongoing safeguards, some landlords are telling tenants to get rid of their unauthorized pets…or move out.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

From the landlord’s perspective, most argue that a tenant shouldn’t be surprised when asked to eventually remove an animal from a property if a lease does not allow for one.

“People need to understand that the rental operator is trying to manage the building for everybody, and should be prepared to adhere to the rules that the community had in place when they entered the building,” said Fred Sutton, a spokesperson for the California Apartment Assn.

But under current rules, these animals should be allowed to stay.

David told me that one thing he was surprised to find out as he was reporting on this story is that local animal shelters are already seeing an uptick in people surrendering their pets to these shelters due to a loss of housing. There is a concern that more animals will be turned into shelters once the eviction protections do finally go away. For now they are in place until the end of March.

Read more of David’s story here.

As always, try to stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Good news: our energy bills are going to be a lot lower in February, according to SoCalGas. The bad news is that it still feels really cold. Here’s a few tips on how to stay warm without risking sky high utility bills. 
  • The Los Angeles Police Commission has unanimously reappointed LAPD Chief Michel Moore. His department had faced condemnation over its handling of protests spurred by the police murder of George Floyd. An independent commission came to the conclusion that the LAPD was “ill-prepared” and in “disarray” during the 2020 protests. In reappointing, Moore, however, the L.A. Police Commission said he said provided “steady leadership.”
  • KPCC + LAist is getting a makeover! KPCC, the leading NPR station in Los Angeles, will now be LAist 89.3. After years of public confusion about the connection between the radio and digital brands, all the company’s platforms will now be unified under one name. My colleague Mike Roe has more information as to why we’re making this shift. 
  • LAist Food and Culture Associate Editor Gab Chabrán and How To LA Podcast Host Brian De Los Santos host a discussion with some downtown chefs and restaurateurs for the next Culinary Connections event happening at LAist on Thursday, Feb. 2nd. The event is sold out but you can stream it online here
  • Prosecutors formally charged actor Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust. The armorer on the film was also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
  • Gas stoves can be dangerous for our health as they release gasses like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. In L.A., new buildings are required to have fully electric stoves. We have the lowdown on this “hidden hazard” and how you can reduce your risk. 
  • The federal government ordered seven states to come up with a plan to cut Colorado water usage by as much as 4 million acre-feet per year. Six states came up with a proposal to reduce a portion of that but California failed to sign on by the deadline. My colleague Erin Stone wrote a brief story about why this matters. 
  • I hope you have your binoculars and telescopes handy, because it’s officially the day to see the green comet C/2022 E3! One cool fact from NPR’s article on this: its tail can expand for millions of miles.
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  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait... One More Thing

Frank Malina's Lucky Break

This black-and-white image features a group of men surrounding rocket parts, one of which is being held above them by chains and a pulley system.
(Archival image courtesy M.G. Lorde)

Last week, we talked about Frank Malina, an aeronautical engineer and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who left the U.S. as anti-communist rhetoric started to stir and became a refugee and artist in France. That was a wild ride with the FBI hot on his trail, wasn’t it? Well, let’s hop in the coupe to explore more about Malina’s new life and his involvement with the fledgling United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.

The FBI was still out there and Malina’s colleagues, like Sidney Weinbaum and his family, couldn’t escape to Paris. They were stuck in Pasadena and having a hard time dodging the heat of the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Things were getting bleak.

Intrigued about Frank and his colleague found themselves in this situation? Read about what you can expect from the second episode of the Red Scare trilogy of the LAist Studios podcast LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets and then listen to the podcast episodes here. Or listen in the players below:

Listen: Frank Malina flees to Paris with the FBI hot on his trail
Listen: Frank Malina finds work with UNESCO but the FBI isn't giving up
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