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By Sophia Lesseos

Santa Clarita City Council To Discuss Lawsuit Over Eviction Moratorium

The Santa Clarita City Council is set to discuss a lawsuit filed in September against several cities, including Santa Clarita, for eviction moratoriums.

The City of Santa Clarita was named the defendant, along with several other cities in Los Angeles County, in a lawsuit filed on Sept. 11 for lost income due to a COVID-19 eviction moratorium.

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Santa Clarita City Council is set to discuss the lawsuit during a closed session.

The landlords listed as plaintiffs in the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court include Casa Green Inc., Westside Habitats LLC, Brass Key Properties LLC, VSN Properties LLC, Hollywood Lofts LLC, Streamline Properties LLC, Terraces at the Grove Inc. and Silver Swan Properties LLC.

Only one of the plaintiffs, Westside Habitats, has properties listed in Santa Clarita, with six apartment complexes in Newhall.

In addition to Santa Clarita, the lawsuit includes Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale, Burbank, Agoura Hills and the City of Los Angeles, according to court documents.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages “far in excess of $300,000,” according to the suit.

See Related: Santa Clarita Among Several Cities Named In Lawsuit Over Eviction Moratorium

“While purportedly intending to provide relief to tenants … the ordinances and other enactments are illegal, imbalanced and significantly infringe on their constitutional rights,” the lawsuit said. “Undoubtedly, a significant percentage of the tenants who have not been paying rent will not pay back the arrearages.”

The lawsuit further argues there has been no moratorium for landlords, who still have to pay the monthly mortgage for the property.

A City of Santa Clarita spokesperson previously declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

In March, the Santa Clarita City Council adopted an urgency ordinance, temporarily prohibiting evictions of residential, commercial and manufactured home tenants arising from financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then in May, the Santa Clarita City Council voted to extend the eviction moratorium and rent payback period to June 30.

“People are going to start recovering and start paying their rents in the short term,” said City Councilwoman Marsha McLean at the time. “I would hate to see a family evicted because they could have paid their rent back over a little longer time.”

On Aug, 31, the City’s eviction moratorium expired and residents of Santa Clarita are subject to Los Angeles County’s temporary eviction moratorium.

L.A. County Temporary Eviction Moratorium implements a countywide ban on evictions for residential and commercial tenants, including mobile home space renters. During the moratorium, tenants may not be evicted for COVID-19-related non-payment of rent, as well as no-fault reasons, nuisance, unauthorized occupants or pets, if related to COVID-19.

On Sept. 15, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to prevent foreclosures in L.A. County by connecting struggling homeowners with foreclosure prevention counseling and mortgage assistance.

In addition, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that includes targeted protections for tenants to shield them from evictions due to COVID-19-related back rent through Feb. 21, 2021.

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Santa Clarita City Council To Discuss Lawsuit Over Eviction Moratorium

One comment

  1. If the government is going to act magnanimous, granting renters relief, they should also be paying the landlords the lost funds, similar to section 8 housing, to make the landlords whole also. It’s not generous to offer a gift that is stolen from someone else. (and no, I don’t have any rentals)

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About Devon Miller

Devon Miller was born and raised in Santa Clarita. He joined KHTS Radio as a digital marketing intern in September of 2017, and later moved to news as a staff writer in December. Miller attended College of the Canyons and served as the Associated Student Government President. Miller is now News Director for KHTS, covering breaking news and politics across the Santa Clarita Valley.