New L.A. law allows tenants to sue landlords over violating restrictions on evictions due to virus

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the city of L.A. being mostly shut down, tenants and their supporters gather outside L.A. City Hall on April 30, 2020, to demand the local government cancel rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the city of L.A. being mostly shut down, tenants and their supporters gather outside L.A. City Hall on April 30, 2020, to demand the local government cancel rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Tenants will soon have the right to sue landlords who violate restrictions that Los Angeles has placed on evicting renters during the coronavirus crisis, under a law passed Wednesday by the City Council.

Renters could potentially win penalties of up to $10,000 per violation — or $15,000 per violation if the tenant is disabled or a senior. The effort was about “giving the tenants a big stick,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said.

After the vote, Council President Nury Martinez said in a statement that while good landlords are working to help tenants stay in their units, “I want the bad operators to know, today, the city of Los Angeles is putting you on notice.”

Landlords are currently barred from evicting tenants who have been affected by the coronavirus, although the council has held off on imposing a blanket ban on evictions sought by tenant activists.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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