LA is trying to protect renters who have a pet during the pandemic lockdown

(Jason Armond/Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

LA is trying to protect renters who have a pet during the pandemic lockdown

Animals and Pets, LA Politics

Angie Orellana Hernández

January 23, 2024

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to prevent landlords from evicting tenants who took in a pet at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, even if their leases prohibited it.

The 13-0 vote, with councilors Heather Hutt and Katy Yaroslavsky absent, will enshrine into law a tenant protection that was introduced during the pandemic lockdown but was set to expire at the end of January. Supporters say the ordinance will prevent further deterioration


combat the homelessness crisis, and minimize further crowding


animal shelters.

Tenants who

to have

However, unauthorized pets must notify the landlord within one month. The ordinance does not apply to pets that moved into the rental unit after January 31, 2023.

The issue was raised in a February 2023 report from the city Department of Animal Services, which said tenants would be forced to choose between staying housed or giving up their pets.

Now, renters no longer have to give up their pets to shelters, which are currently “bursting at the seams,” according to Larry Gross, chairman of the Board of Animal Services Commissioners.

It will keep families together because many of these pets were brought in three or four years ago and are part of people’s families, said Gross, who is also executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. It’s a huge win for pets, for renters, and it was the most humane thing the city could have done.

Before the vote, Councilmember Euisses Hernandez also spoke in favor of the ordinance, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic

the lockdown affected a wide range of people

“Social, economic and health impacts on our communities.

Many people lost their loved ones and faced isolation from quarantine, which led to many having new additions to their families, Hernandez said. These pets have helped people through difficult times


and tenants should not be evicted from their homes because of the pets.

Audience members at the meeting also raised concerns about possible evictions and the mental health of tenants who sheltered pets to improve their mental health.

Animals are the only thing that keeps them going, said an animal shelter volunteer.

Lots of l

and gentlemen also supported the ordinance. In a December fifth letter to the City Council, the California Apartment Assn., which represents landlords and other property owners, wrote that it supported the Animal Services report and the city’s goal to resolve this unique situation.

The organization asked the municipality to include a provision that tenants inform their housing provider of the presence of animals.

It is important that the property owner is aware of animals and general activities in the community; read the letter.

Nearly a week after the landlord association’s request, the City Council voted 14-0 to approve City Atty. Hydee Feldstein Soto drafted the language for the ordinance, which takes effect immediately.


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