Legal Reasons to Evict a Tenant in City of Los Angeles

There are always a lot of questions as to why and when a landlord can evict a tenant if the unit is subject to the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance (“LARSO”), also known as Los Angeles Rent Control. The LARSO only applies to properties that have more than one unit (even if you live in one unit and rent another out) and to properties located within the City of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a big city so that includes neighborhoods suchas the San Fernando Valley, San Pedro, Venice Beach, Boyle Heights, but does not include cities or neighborhoods such as East Los Angeles, Burbank, Inglewood, or Willowbrook.

The Los Angeles Housing and Community Development Department has provided a list of reasons here on its website. I am providing a general summary of the reasons. Other than for non-payment of rent, the other reasons require additional paperwork and forms to be filled out with the Los Angeles Housing Department, so please be aware of these additional requirements or you could be unsuccessful in an eviction. It is important to note that several reasons to evict a tenant would also cause the tenants to be entitled to relocation assistance from the landlord. For example, if you are evicting to occupy the unit yourself or for a qualified family member, there are additional steps that must be performed with the City of Los Angeles in order to proceed with the eviction. Relocation assistance is updated annually, and a copy can be found here.

The following are the legal reasons:

  • Tenant has failed to pay the rent.
  • Tenant has violated a lawful obligation or covenant of the tenancy (violated the Lease) and has failed to cure the violation after receiving notice.
  • Tenant is committing or allowing to commit a nuisance, is causing damage to the rental unit or common areas, or is creating unreasonable interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of any other residents in the same or adjacent buildings.
  • The tenant is using the unit for an illegal purpose.
  • The tenant refuses to enter a new lease that contains similar provisions and is of the same duration as the previous lease.
  • The tenant refuses the landlord reasonable access to the unit to make repairs, for inspections, or to show the unit to potential purchaser or mortgagee.
  • The person in the unit is an unapproved subtenant.
  • The landlord wishes in good faith to recover possession for a family member (defined under LARSO) or a resident manager to live in the unit.
  • The landlord is performing major renovations (“Primary Renovation Work”) approved by the Los Angeles Housing Department
  • The landlord is seeking to demolish the rental unit or remove the unit from the rental market.
  • The landlord must comply with a government agency’s order to vacate, abate, or any other order that would require the unit to be vacated.

It is also important to note that prior to filing any unlawful detainer, the unit must be registered with the City of Los Angeles Housing and Community Development Department. Failure to register the unit is a valid defense, and it can allow a tenant to be successful against a landlord in an eviction. For many of these reasons for eviction additional paperwork, documentation, and proof is required beyond a typical eviction. If you have any questions on whether an eviction can proceed under the LARSO, please contact Anthony Marinaccio at 818-839-5220.