The City of Los Angeles has enacted a Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance that applies to ALL rentals in the City of Los Angeles, including Single Family Residences and condos. It can be found in Article 5.3 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code and is summarized below.
The LA City Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance prohibits Los Angeles City landlords from engaging in any conduct that a reasonable person would find was intended to disturb the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the rental or was designed to pressure the tenant to move. Specifically, the Ordinance prohibits “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.” The specific acts of tenant harassment include, without limitation, the following:
- Reducing or eliminating housing services required by a lease, contract or law, including the elimination of parking if provided in the tenant’s lease or contract except when necessary to comply with a court order or local or state law, or to create an accessory dwelling unit or additional housing.
- Failing to perform and timely complete necessary repairs and maintenance required by Federal, State, County, or local housing, health, or safety laws; or failure to follow applicable industry standards to minimize exposure to noise, dust, lead paint, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts.
- Abuse of the right of access into a rental unit as established and limited by California Civil Code Section 1954, including entering or photographing portions of a rental unit that are beyond the scope of a lawful entry or inspection.
- Threatening a tenant, by word or gesture, with physical harm.
- Attempting to coerce the tenant to vacate with offer(s) of payments.
- Misrepresenting to a tenant that the tenant is required to vacate a rental unit or enticing a tenant to vacate a rental unit through an intentional misrepresentation or the concealment or omission of a material fact.
- Threatening or taking action to terminate any tenancy including service of any notice to quit or other eviction notice or bringing action to recover possession of a rental unit based on facts which the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true.
- Threatening to or engaging in any act or omission which interferes with the tenant’s right to use and enjoy the rental unit or whereby the premises are rendered unfit for human habitation and occupancy.
- Refusing to acknowledge or accept receipt of lawful rent payments as set forth in the lease agreement or as established by the usual practice of the parties or applicable law.
- Inquiring as to the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, prospective additional tenant, occupant, or prospective additional occupant of a rental unit, or requiring any of these people to make any statement, representation, or certification concerning their immigration or citizenship status.
- Disclosing or threatening to disclose to any person or entity information regarding the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, whether in retaliation for engaging in legally protected activities or to influence them to vacate or for any other reason.
- Disclosing or threatening to disclose information about a tenant to any government entity for engaging in legally protected activities or to influence them to vacate.
- Engaging in an activity prohibited by federal, state, or local housing anti-discrimination laws.
- Retaliating, threatening, or interfering with tenant organizing activities, including forming or participating in tenant associations and unions.
- Interfering with a tenant’s right to privacy or requesting information that violates a tenant’s right to privacy, including, but not limited to, residency or citizenship status or social security number, except as authorized by law.
- Offering payments to a tenant to vacate their unit without providing written notice to the tenant of their rights under the Tenant Buyout Notification Program (Section 151.33 of the Code)
- Other repeated acts or omissions of such significance as to substantially interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of a tenant(s) and that cause or are likely to cause, a tenant to surrender or waive any rights in relation to the tenancy
Manner of Enforcement
Under the Los Angeles City Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance, a tenant has a private right of action against their landlord and anyone assisting the landlord in violating the ordinance for actual damages, emotional distress damages, up to $10,000 for each separate harassing act, and reasonable attorney fees. In addition, a tenant may use the landlord’s violation of the ordinance as an affirmative defense to any eviction action. Finally, a violation of any provisions of the Ordinance is punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor, whereby the court can impose a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/or a maximum six month jail sentence.
Please contact Lynx Legal Service with any questions regarding the above, and for all of your eviction needs. Our experienced professionals are standing by to answer any questions or if you are ready to start a case. We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or email@example.com.