By Richard Wu (Principal)


On May 6, 2020 by unanimous vote, the Los Angeles City Council adopted Ordinance No. 186606, which provides additional relief and modifies existing protections for commercial and residential tenants. This protection is retroactive to March 4, 2020 and lasts until Mayor Garcetti announces the local emergency is over (“Local Emergency Period” or LEP).


Commercial Tenants

  • Except for certain large employers (multi-national companies, publicly traded companies, companies with more than 500 employees, etc.), commercial tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent until three months following the end of the LEP if the tenant cannot pay rent due to financial impacts of COVID-19. These circumstances include:
    • Loss of business income related to workplace closures
    • Child care expenditures due to school closures
    • Healthcare expenses related to being ill with COVID-19
    • Caring for a member of the tenant’s household or family who is ill with COVID-19
    • Reasonable expenditures related to government-ordered emergency measures
  • Commercial tenants have three months after the expiration of the LEP to pay back deferred rent
  • Landlords cannot charge interest or late fees on unpaid rent


Residential Tenants

  • Residential tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent until 12 months following the end of the LEP due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances include:
    • Loss of business income related to workplace closures
    • Child care expenditures due to school closures
    • Healthcare expenses related to being ill with COVID-19
    • Caring for a member of the tenant’s household or family who is ill with COVID-19
    • Reasonable expenditures related to government-ordered emergency measures
  • Residential tenants have up to 12 months after the expiration of LEP to pay back deferred rent.
  • Landlords are not allowed to cause tenants to pay rent with money received from government relief programs.
  • Landlords cannot charge interest or late fees on unpaid rent during the LEP.


GHJ Insight

This Ordinance expands previous relief provided to tenants residing in the City of Los Angeles. Even though this provides legal eviction protection during the effective period, tenants impacted by COVID-19 should proactively reach out and communicate with their landlords regarding their financial situations.

Proactive communication is crucial as many issues, such as how long rent is deferred for or the terms of the payback of deferred rent payments, can be resolved upfront.

It is important to note that this Ordinance does not relieve the tenants of their legal obligations to pay rent under the lease. Any rent payments which are missed during the emergency period will need to be repaid in the future. To avoid a surprise such as a large balloon payment at the end of the emergency period, tenants should work with their landlords on a reasonable repayment plan as part of any rent deferral request.

In addition, tenants should be prepared to provide documentation showing how the COVID-19 emergency has affected their financial ability to pay rent such as a job termination letter from an employer or for a commercial tenant, financial statements showing a significant decrease in revenue and sales


If you have any questions on the above, GHJ’s COVID-19 Response Team has as an experienced team of consultants specializing in COVID-related laws and programs and can provide the tools your business needs to help it recover from this business disruption. We are here to assist organizations to succeed in these very challenging times.

Wu Richard halfbody
POST WRITTEN BY

Richard Wu, CPA, is part of the Federal Tax Compliance group. He has over 10 years of tax compliance and consulting experience with Big Four and other accounting firms in Los Angeles. His specialty is in real estate, where he has provided tax compliance and industry-specific consulting to both…Learn More