Tenant Rights Groups Join Legal Fight to Defend City of LA’s Tenant Protections
In January 2023, The Los Angeles City Council passed permanent tenant protections to help thousands of Angeleno renters stay in their homes and prevent them from falling into homelessness. The protections were passed to safeguard renters’ housing security as COVID eviction protections were set to expire.
The new ordinances include the Nonpayment Threshold Ordinance, which prohibits evictions based on nonpayment unless the tenant is behind at least one month’s fair market rent, and the Relocation Assistance for Economic Displacement Ordinance, which requires landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants forced to leave due to a significant rent increase. Thanks to these protections, Angelenos can no longer be evicted for being a few dollars short on rent, nor will they be forced to move due to exorbitant rent increases without also receiving support for moving and relocation expenses.
In March 2023, the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) filed a legal action seeking to overturn the ordinances. The challenge is yet another attempt by AAGLA to undermine critical common-sense tenant protections in Los Angeles so that landlords can more easily evict tenants or use rent increases to force tenants to self-evict.
In April 2023, tenant rights groups InnerCity Struggle (ICS) and Community Power Collective (CPC) filed paperwork to intervene and join the City of Los Angeles in the defense of the protections. Public Counsel, Bet Tzedek, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and Susman Godfrey LLP are the attorneys for ICS and CPC – organizations that represent thousands of low-income tenants who are still struggling to recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic. In May 2023, Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted the motion to intervene.
In May 2023, the Court denied a motion from the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) for a preliminary injunction to halt the enforcement of the two renter protection ordinances.
It is vital that tenants in Los Angeles—especially those not protected by the city’s rent stabilization ordinance—are safeguarded against eviction, homelessness, and displacement. Many households have not recovered from the economic impact of the pandemic, with an estimated one-third of households unable to afford rent. There is concern that without the City’s strengthened renter protections, a new wave of evictions and homelessness will occur.
Superior Court of The State of California, County of Los Angeles
Joined as Intervenors
4/18/2023 (Motion to intervene filed)
Case Developments and Key Developments
Hearing on the Petition for Writ of Mandate
- Petitioner’s Opening Brief
- City of LA – Opposition to Petition for Writ of Mandate
- Intervenors’ Opposition to Opening Brief
- Petitioner’s Reply Brief
- Declaration of Silvia Anguiano ISO Intervenors
- Declaration of Takeyshia Flemings ISO Intervenors
- Declaration of Heidi Gonzalez ISO Intervenors
- Declaration of Anabella Sam ISO Intervenors
Court Denies Motion for Preliminary Injunction
Judge Mitchell Beckloff denied a motion from AAGLA for a preliminary injunction to halt the enforcement of L.A.’s renter protection ordinances.
Motion to Intervene Granted
AAGLA Files Petition for Writ of Mandate
Community Power Collective builds power with low-income workers and tenants through transformative organizing to win economic justice, community control of land and housing, and to propagate systems of cooperation in Boyle Heights and the greater LA region.
InnerCity Struggle’s mission is to ignite a transformational and intergenerational movement by building community power to advance justice, life opportunities, and dignity in the Eastside of Los Angeles.
- Stephano Medina, Staff Attorney
- Faizah Malik, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney
- Alisa Randell, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney
- Kathryn Eidmann, Vice President, Chief of Litigation and Legal Programs
Bet Tzedek – The House of Justice – is an internationally recognized force in economic justice law and one of the largest legal aid organizations in Los Angeles County. With more than 100 staff members, supported by more than 1,200 active volunteers nationally who effectively leverage our staff resources, Bet Tzedek assists those most in need with some of the most pressing legal issues faced by our communities, including: elder abuse, employment rights violations, landlord/tenant and housing matters, real estate fraud and foreclosure prevention, basic estate planning, Holocaust reparations, probate guardianship, low-income tax advocacy, small business development, transgender advocacy, and public benefits. With a growing volunteer base, we harness an award-winning pro bono model of service to help people of all communities and generations secure life’s necessities. In addition to direct legal representation in each of these areas, Bet Tzedek staff conducts expansive outreach and education programs, and undertakes impact litigation and policy advocacy on issues of significance to our clients. In 2022, we served over 85,000 individuals and families regardless of race, religion, immigration-status, or sexual orientation.
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is a nonprofit law firm that protects and advances the rights of the most underserved – leveling the playing field and ensuring that everyone can have access to the justice system. Every year, LAFLA provides free, high-quality legal services to more than 100,000 people living in poverty across Greater Los Angeles. Our unique combination of neighborhood offices, self-help centers at courthouses, and domestic violence clinics puts LAFLA on the front lines in vulnerable communities, and at the forefront of change.
Susman Godfrey is a nationwide law firm of 150 trial lawyers. We handle high-stakes litigation in a broad range of practice areas and industries, for both plaintiffs and defendants. We are creative in finding the fee arrangement—contingent, flat, hourly, or hybrid—that best suits a client’s case. With a relentless focus on winning at trial, Susman Godfrey has been ranked by Vault as the #1 litigation boutique in America for 12 consecutive years. Visit susmangodfrey.com to learn more about our unique approach to winning cases.
- Tenant Rights Groups Celebrate Court Upholding New L.A. City Permanent Tenant Protections, 5/22/2023
- Daily New, Los Angeles tenants win a key legal fight with a major landlord group, 5/22/23
- Westside Current, Judge Rules in Favors of Tenants in Challenge to Renter Protection Laws, 5/23/2023
- San Fernando Valley Sun, Judge’s Ruling Favors Tenants in Landlord Challenge to Renter Protection Laws, 5/22/23
- Spectrum News 1, Lawsuit seeks to overturn LA’s renter protection ordinances, 3/7/2023
- Globest, Apartment Operators Sue to Block Tenant Protections in Los Angeles, 3/7/2023
- Daily Journal, Apartment Owners Sue LA Over New Renter Protection Ordinances, 3/7/23
- The Real Deal, AAGLA lawsuit demands LA repeal some renter protections, 3/6/2023