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Four California Highway Patrol members undergo free COVID-19 tests during the first day of testing available in Malibu. The tests took place at a drive-through temporary clinic at the Malibu City Hall parking lot on Monday, April 6.

Fearing a “potential tsunami” of evictions, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted June 22 to extend an eviction moratorium through Sept. 30.

The moratorium bars landlords in the county from evicting tenants who cannot pay their rent because of financial circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom eventually announced an agreement for an extension of the state’s eviction moratorium on June 25—four days after LA County.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who authored the June 22 motion, said LA County couldn’t wait for the state to act.

Only a fraction of tenants and property owners who might be eligible have received the assistance, due in part to a lack of outreach by the state, overly complicated applications and a failure to translate the applications into languages other than English, Kuehl stated in her weekly newsletter.

Many landlords also did not realize they could get rent relief directly.

LA County’s moratorium includes protections that go beyond current state provisions. The LA County board’s motion protects commercial evictions as well as residential. It prohibits no-fault evictions, evictions for unauthorized occupants and pets, evictions for nuisances and evictions for tenants “who reasonably deny entry to their landlords during the public health crisis,” Kuehl’s office stated.

The measure passed by the LA County board grants an exception to single-family homes—LA County landlords will be allowed to evict tenants from single-family homes if they or a family member need to live there.

A tenant 62 or older can only be evicted if the person moving into the home is also in that age group. The same is true for tenants with disabilities, terminal illness or low-income—the person moving in must be similarly situated.

“Tens of thousands of county residents have barely held on during the crisis, so in our eagerness to reopen—and I’m with everybody on that - we really have to be careful not to open the door to mass evictions,” Kuehl told the LA Times. 

Early on in the pandemic, the Malibu City Council voted to align its eviction moratorium with that of the county.

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