Summary of Los Angeles County’s Anti-Tenant Harassment Ordinance

The County of Los Angeles has enacted an Anti-Harassment Ordinance covering unincorporated areas of the County, that gives renters more legal recourse to sue their landlords for harassment and imposes harsh penalties for noncompliance. Landlords also are prohibited from retaliating against tenants who are not in default of their rent and who have exercised their rights under the Ordinance.  L.A. County, Cal., Mun. Code § 8.52.130. 

Acts and Omissions Constituting Violations of the Ordinance

The Ordinance prohibits landlords and their agents from doing any of the following:

  • Interrupting, terminating, or failing to provide, or threatening to interrupt, terminate, or provide any housing service required by the lease agreement or the law
  • Acting in bad faith by failing to perform or complete repairs and maintenance
  • Acting in bad faith by failing to follow industry repair and remediation protocols to lessen noise, dust, lead, paint, mold, asbestos, or other harmful building materials exposure
  • Renovating or performing construction for the purpose of harassing a tenant
  • Refusing to acknowledge receipt of lawful payment of rent
  • Refusing to cash or process a rent payment for over 30 days
  • Failing to maintain a current address for delivery of rent payments
  • Violating a tenant’s right to privacy by requesting citizen ship status information, protected class status, or social security number
  • Releasing tenant information to others, unless required by law
  • Requesting an unreasonable amount of information from a tenant requesting a reasonable accommodation under fair housing laws
  • Abusing the right to enter the premises
  • Influencing or attempting to influence a tenant to vacate through fraud, misrepresentation, intimidation, or coercion.
  • Threatening a tenant with words or physical harm
  • Discriminating against a tenant based on race, gender, sexual preference, sexual orientation, ethnic background, nationality, religion, age, parenthood, marriage, pregnancy, disability, HIV, AIDS, occupancy by a minor child, or source of income
  • Bringing an action to recover possession of a unit based on information that the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe is true
  • Removing a tenant’s personal property from the unit without the tenant’s prior written consent
  • Providing false information to the tenant about any federal, state, county, or local tenant protections
  • Offering payments to tenant to vacate more than once in six months after the tenant notified the landlord in writing they do not want to receive offers
  • Communicating in a language that is not the tenant’s primary language to intimidate, confuse, deceive, or annoy the tenant
  • Interfering with the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises
  • Removing a housing service, such as a parking space, to force a tenant to vacate
  • Interfering with the tenant’s right to organize

Tenant Remedies for Violations of the Ordinance

A Tenant may assert retaliation affirmatively or as a defense to the Landlord’s action.  Additionally, any tenant, or any person or entity acting on behalf of the tenant’s interest, including the County, may bring a lawsuit against the landlord for violations of the Ordinance.  L.A. County, Cal., Mun. Code § 8.52.170.  Tenants can sue for a wrongful eviction, illegal rent increases, illegal buyouts, retaliation, and harassment.  Id.  Tenants can seek injunctive, declaratory and other equitable relief, restitution, and reasonable attorney fees and costs.  Id.  The court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to a landlord who prevails in any action brought against them if the court determines that the tenant’s action was frivolous.  Id.

In addition, landlords who have retaliated against or harassed the tenant will be liable for civil penalties of between $2,000 and $5,000 per violation.  L.A. County, Cal., Mun. Code § 8.52.130.   If the tenant is 62 years old or older or is disabled, the court may award an additional $5,000 per violation.  Id.  Each violation of the Ordinance, and each day such violation is committed, permitted, or continued, is a separate offense.  L.A. County, Cal., Mun. Code § 8.52.170.

The Ordinance also permits criminal prosecution of any person who violates the ordinance.  Specifically, a person violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the requirements of this Chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the County jail for a period of not more than six (6) months, or by both.

Please contact Lynx Legal with any questions regarding the above or if you are ready to proceed with an eviction.  We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or  Our experienced professionals are standing by to assist in any way we can. 

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