The West Hollywood City Council extended its eviction moratorium for residential and commercial tenants through July 31, at which time the council will consider whether further extensions are warranted, during a virtual City Council meeting on June 15.
The City Council unanimously approved the extension as part of the consent calendar, but also included guidelines outlining circumstances in which a residential eviction can occur.
A city staff report explained how a landlord could potentially terminate a tenancy on the following grounds: nonpayment of rent not due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, a tenant using the rental unit for an illegal purpose, a tenant creating and maintaining a dangerous unsanitary condition, or if an eviction is necessary to address an imminent and objectively verifiable threat to the health or safety of other residents of the rental property.
Under these circumstances, the landlord must give proper notice to the tenant and provide an opportunity for the tenant to fix the issue, as well as communicate with the city about the issue. Landlords must provide documentation about the circumstance if the problem continues and if they pursue an eviction.
But even though the city would allow these types of evictions to move forward, the California court system is currently not processing any eviction cases. In April, the California Judicial Council, the rule-making body of the California court system, approved emergency rules related to COVID-19 stating that courts would not process any eviction cases until 90 days after the state of emergency expires.
Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the statewide eviction moratorium to July 28, which stipulates California courts will not begin processing eviction cases until Oct. 27, unless Newsom extends or changes the eviction moratorium again.
Residential and commercial tenants are still protected from being evicted for non-payment of rent due to financial hardships related to COVID-19. The purpose of the city’s eviction moratorium is to protect residential and commercial tenants from mass evictions that would lead to an increase in homelessness and the spread of COVID-19.
If the city of West Hollywood decides not to extend the citywide eviction moratorium, residential tenants are expected to pay rent again in August and have one year to repay any back rent they owe.
In a partnership between the city and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, mediation services are available to tenants and landlords. The service includes counseling and aims to help tenants and landlords reach mutually agreeable settlements on how to create a rent deferral repayment plan.
By visiting weho.org/coronavirus-covid-19/renter-resources, West Hollywood tenants can learn about resources and rental assistance programs provided by the city.
Council members also approved an urgency ordinance with a unanimous vote on June 15 to update some COVID-19 recovery measures in support of businesses, and regulate third-party delivery services fees.
Third-party delivery services use various commission models that can charge a restaurant up to 30% or more per order, including delivery, marketing and promotion, subscription and processing fees, according to a staff report.
Restaurants, in particular small family-owned food establishments, have slowly begun to reopen, but in-person dining is limited to 60% of the business’ occupancy as ordered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Under the new urgency ordinance, the city capped the maximum fees to no more than 15% of the purchase price per order for delivery, and no more than 10% of the purchase price per order for all other fees, including marketing, data analytics and technical support. The limit is 25% on total fees for each food order placed through a third-party food delivery service. The city created the urgency ordinance with input from third-party delivery service providers such as Postmates and Grubhub and the West Hollywood restaurant community.
Other changes have also recently occurred with West Hollywood’s emergency orders. City Manager Paul Arevalo issued an executive order that reopened West Hollywood parks, parklets and dog parks. West Hollywood residents must follow county health orders and adhere to physical distancing of 6 feet, and wear face masks or coverings.
Bathrooms, water fountains and exercise equipment will remain closed and unavailable until further notice.
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