Neighborhood

Your Rights as a Tenant

Your Rights in Los Angeles County

If you can't pay your rent because of COVID-19 financial hardship, or are being threatened with eviction for any reason, do not move out of your home. Only a court can order you to leave. You have rights and are protected by federal, state and local laws. To understand these laws, please attend one of our workshops. This page provides a brief summary of the current protections at the county level.


In addition to state laws, local protections may also apply to you. Generally, if you are a current residential or mobilehome space tenant in Unincorporated Los Angeles County or live in a city that does not have stronger local ​emergency tenant protections, the following ​applies until March 31, 2023. (Note: Each case is different and will need to be analyzed ​by an attorney.)

There are restrictions on:

  • No-fault evictions, except for qualified Owner Move-in evictions. As of June 1, 2022, the qualifications for allowable Owner Move-In evictions were slightly relaxed.
  • Eviction for nuisance related to the pandemic (e.g. if a tenant has to take in a family member or pet and there is more noise as a result.
  • Evictions based on unauthorized occupants or pets.
  • Evictions for refusing entry to your landlord. As of June 1, 2022, these evictions are only prohibited if a tenant is refusing entry in response to landlord harassment.

As of July 1, 2022, there are also limitations on eviction for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardship for rent. Note:

  • These limitations only apply to rent due on or after July 1, 2022. It does not apply to missed rent that was due before this date.
  • Households must have incomes at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • You must send a declaration (Click to download) to your landlord within 7 days of the rent being due each month. 

Tenants facing eviction for the above reasons have a defense in court. 

There is also a rent freeze on ​residential housing and mobilehomes covered by the Los Angeles County Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which generally applies to multi-family housing built before February 1995 in unincorporated areas of L.A. County. Any rent increase between March 4, 2020, and March 31, 2023, is invalid. Landlords also may not charge tenants for passthrough costs (e.g. charging tenants to make up the cost of various fees or improvements.)

The Los Angeles County protections are currently in place through March 31, 2023.

How to Stay Housed

To be protected against eviction for not paying rent, you must:

  1. Notify your landlord that you are experiencing COVID-19-related hardship and cannot pay your rent within 7 days of the rent due date. Click here to download the required statement. You can also use this free tool to send your letter. If possible, you should accompany your written notification with proof that supports your claim, but it is not required under the law.
  2. Pay past due rent before the end of any applicable “grace period."

You also have a defense to eviction if you applied for rental assistance before March 31, 2022, and still have a pending application with the state rental assistance program. You can check your application status here

The County encourages landlords and tenants to agree to a repayment plan, but we recommend you seek legal help before entering into any such plan. The order explicitly bans landlords and their agents from harassing or intimidating tenants based on these issues.

If you’ve received a notice from the court, or from your landlord, it’s important you immediately connect with a legal service provider who can confirm your rights based on where you live and help you respond to the court notice and keep you in your home.

Find a Legal Service Provider

For help completing the legal referral form, call 1-888-694-0040.

What If My Landlord is Harassing Me?

Threatening or harassing tenants is illegal. If you are experiencing threats or harassment, do not move out of your home until a court orders you to! Sign up for a free workshop to learn more about emergency protections and your rights and get connected to resources that can keep you in your home.

Find a Workshop

For information about L.A. County's COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution, visit dcba.lacounty.gov/noevictions

Your Rights in the City of Los Angeles

If you can't pay your rent because of COVID-19 financial hardship, or are being threatened with eviction for any reason, do not move out of your home. Only a court can order you to leave. You have rights and are protected by federal, state and local laws. To understand these laws, please attend one of our workshops. This page provides a brief summary of the current protections in the City of Los Angeles. To find out what other laws protect you, visit our County page.


In addition to the county protections, the City of Los Angeles has local laws in place that may also apply to you. Each case is different and will need to be analyzed ​by an attorney. You can check whether you live in the City of L.A. or a different part of L.A. County by visiting https://neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org. IF YOU LIVE IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES, THE COUNTY EMERGENCY PROTECTIONS THAT ARE IN PLACE UNTIL MARCH 31, 2023, COVER YOU.

For the City of Los Angeles, protections are tied to the City’s Declaration of Local Emergency, which remains in effect. The Declaration of Local Emergency is renewed on a monthly basis by the City Council and does not have an end date at this time. The City’s local emergency rental protections are set to expire on January 31, 2023 and include:

  • Preventing owners from evicting a residential tenant for nonpayment of rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Tenants still have to pay back any rent due. The length of time to pay back rent depends on which months the unpaid rent was due.
    • For rent that was due March 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021 and wasn’t paid due to COVID-related hardship, tenants will have up to 12 months following the end of the Declaration of Local Emergency, or until August 1, 2023, to repay any back rent, whichever date comes first.
    • For rent that was due October 1, 2021 – the end of the local emergency and isn’t paid due to COVID-related hardship, tenants will have up to 12 months following the end of the Declaration of Local Emergency to repay any back rent.
  • Preventing evictions due to the presence of unauthorized occupants or pets. (This protection is extended until January 31, 2024 to give you chance to remove unauthorized occupants or pets, or to find a new place to live.)
  • Preventing evictions due to nuisance related to COVID-19.
  • Banning all no-fault evictions during the Declaration of Local Emergency period, like evicting a tenant for owner or owner family move-in.
  • Providing renters a private “right of action” that allows a landlord to be sued by the tenant in a civil proceeding for violating local emergency protections.

The City’s ordinance is focused on eviction protection. A landlord cannot evict a tenant as long as the deferred rent is paid within 12 months of the City lifting the emergency – or by August 1, 2023, for certain months of unpaid rent. However, a tenant may be taken to civil or small claims court before the deadline, and a landlord may seek a judgment against them for the amount of rent owed. Under State law, the earliest the landlord could file a claim for rental debt was November 1, 2021. A landlord may be able to collect on a judgment against a tenant through wage garnishment or other means of legal debt collection. However, a judgment saying a tenant owes rent is not a reason to evict them under City protections.

Furthermore, the City’s protections work as a defense to an eviction lawsuit. This means that a tenant cannot ignore any eviction notice or eviction lawsuit and must go to Court in order to claim these protections. That is why the education, outreach, and free legal services provided by the L.A. Housing Department and Stay Housed LA Eviction Defense Program are critical to ensuring renters exercise their rights and stay housed.

How to Stay Housed

To be protected from eviction, tenants do not need to provide a declaration to their landlord, but Stay Housed L.A. recommends this action, as it may be helpful evidence should your landlord try to evict you.

Download a Declaration

New Protections

The City of Los Angeles has added "Just Cause" protections, beginning February 1, 2023, for tenants who are not already protected by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The protections begin either after you have lived in your home for more than six months, or at the end of a lease term, whichever comes sooner. There are some exceptions. Go to a workshop to learn more.

Other Protections

In the City of Los Angeles, landlords are also prohibited from:

  • Charging interest or late fees on rent not paid due to COVID-19;

  • Asking tenants to turn over any stimulus payment to pay rent;

  • Landlords also cannot evict tenants to remove the unit from the rental market during the emergency period and for 60 days after it ends. This means landlords cannot exercise a No-fault Eviction such as an owner move-in or installation of a resident manager, during the Local Emergency Period.

    Rent Stabilization Ordinace. Do you live in or own a rent stabilized unit? Text RSO to (855) 880-7368

  • Harassing tenants.

Renters also have the right to sue a landlord in court for violating local emergency protections.

Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance

The City of Los Angeles recently passed a tenant anti-harassment ordinance that went into effect on August 6, 2021. All tenants who live in the City of Los Angeles are protected by this law. Details about the ordinance are below.

What types of harassment am I protected against?

This ordinance covers 13 types of harassment including (but not limited to):

  • Reducing or removing housing services.
  • Threatening tenants with physical harm.
  • Misrepresenting to a tenant that they are required to vacate the rental unit.
  • Evicting a tenant based on statements that the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true.
  • Refusing to accept rent.
  • Inquiring about immigration status.
  • Retaliating, threatening OR interfering with tenant organizing activities.

What does this law allow tenants to do if they are experiencing harassment?

This ordinance allows tenants affected by landlord harassment to sue their landlord. If the tenant is facing eviction and experiencing harassment, they may use these protections as an affirmative defense in court.

What action should I take if I'm being harassed?

Document any harassment! Write down what you are experiencing, and date each entry. Let your landlord know that they are breaking the law.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Renter Protections

  • Get information on renters’ rights and access to free legal services at StayHousedLA.org or by calling 1-888-694-0040.
  • Learn about City of L.A. emergency protections at housing.lacity.org (direct link) or by calling 1-866-557-7368. 
  • Learn about the State’s renter protections at HousingIsKey.com.
  • Learn about the relationship between the City of L.A. and State protections through the City Attorney's webpage: lacityattorney.org/tenant-protections.
  • Check whether you live in the City of L.A. by visiting neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org.
  • Check whether you live in a rent-stabilized unit and are eligible for additional protections by texting “RSO” to 1-855-880-7368.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance

Other Protections Within L.A. County

If you can't pay your rent because of COVID-19 financial hardship or are being threatened with eviction for any reason, do not move out of your home. Only a court can order you to leave. You have rights and are protected by limited state and local laws. To understand these laws, please attend one of our workshops. This page provides brief information about protections in cities within L.A. County.


You may have more protections depending on where you live.

There are 88 cities in the County of Los Angeles and approximately half have their own protections.

Stay Housed L.A. County has your back! To learn more about your city’s protections, read the Housing Rights Center’s Guide to Covid-19 Tenant Protections.

Attend a workshop! You can also find out more about your rights by participating in a tenant workshop.

Find a Workshop

If you’ve received a notice from the court, or from your landlord, it’s important you immediately connect with a legal service provider who can confirm your rights based on where you live and help you respond to the court notice and keep you in your home.

Find a Legal Service Provider

For immediate legal help you can also call 1-888-694-0040.