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Landlord Group Urges Federal Judge To Halt LA Eviction Ban

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Graffiti on a wall on La Brea Ave. in May amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Apartment Association of Greater L.A. filed a federal lawsuit against the city in June, alleging L.A.'s "unconstitutional and overreaching abuse of power" had forced landlords to absorb the financial losses suffered by their tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, the city passed emergency orders banning evictions if renters were unable to pay because of hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic. In late August, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a California state law known as the Tenant Relief Act of 2020. Under the new law, no tenant can be evicted before Feb. 1, 2021 because of rent owed due to COVID-19 hardship.

Last month, lawyers for the apartment association filed a motion for an emergency order halting the city’s moratorium. After two hours of testimony Monday from AAGLA’s lawyers and representatives from the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Judge Pregerson expressed disappointment over the standoff.

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“It’s a tragedy that the lack of an economic solution has caused essentially what we’re dealing with, which is economic warfare,” Pregerson said. “It’s a tragedy that fine people on both sides of this lawsuit have to be pitted against each other.”

A recent UCLA study found that 449,000 people in 365,000 renter households in L.A. County are at high risk of being removed from their homes because of the economic recession triggered by COVID-19.

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