After nearly three years of COVID-19 emergency restrictions, landlords will once again be allowed to evict tenants who have fallen behind on their rent, the L.A. City Council voted Tuesday.

The decision allows the eviction protections, some of the longest-lasting in the country, to end starting Feb. 1.

The restrictions have prohibited landlords from evicting renters affected by COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in the United States in March 2020. At the time, the fear was that the widespread economic damage caused by the virus could lead to tsunami of evictions that would send homelessness soaring as well as further fuel COVID-19’s spread.

As part of the council’s actions on Tuesday, landlords ultimately will be able to evict tenants for unauthorized pets or residents who aren’t listed on leases. In rent-controlled apartments — about three-quarters of the city’s apartment stock — rent hikes will be allowed to resume in February 2024 after they also were blocked at the start of the pandemic.

Council members additionally agreed to move forward a permanent expansion of some eviction protections. Currently, tenants in rent-controlled apartments cannot be evicted without documented lease violations or receiving relocation assistance for owner-move ins and other “no-fault” reasons. The council voted to explore expanding those protections to tenants living in newer apartments not covered by rent control, though that effort has yet to be finalized.

Many other cities across California and the United States put into place eviction protections for renters at the start of the pandemic. But they have since expired or were repealed — in some cases more than a year before L.A.’s will. L.A. County supervisors recently voted to sunset its eviction protections by the end of the year.

Liam Dillon

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