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Home / News / Stay Housed L.A. files three tenant anti-harassment lawsuits as part of pilot project

Stay Housed L.A. files three tenant anti-harassment lawsuits as part of pilot project

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The Stay Housed L.A. program announced Friday the filing of three tenant anti-harassment lawsuits as part of a pilot project with the Los Angeles County Department of Business and Consumer Affairs.

The lawsuits will pursue egregious cases under the county’s anti-harassment protections, which include permanent safeguards under the county’s rent stabilization ordinance as well as temporary provisions in its COVID-19 tenant protections. Both the permanent ordinance and the temporary resolution include the ability to assess fees and penalties to landlords who engage in harassing behavior against tenants.

“To prevent homelessness and keep renters safely in their homes, tenants need to understand their rights and have access to peer advocates and attorneys to best exercise those rights,” said Jenny Delwood, executive vice president of the Liberty Hill Foundation, one of the lead coordinating organizations of the Stay Housed L.A. program. “Regardless of their ability to pay, tenants have legal rights, including the right to live in their homes free from harassment by their landlords.”

Advocacy groups that provide educational and legal support to renters across Los Angeles County have seen an uptick in complaints, which they fear could be on the rise as landlords look for ways to remove tenants who have been unable to pay rent due to economic fallout from the pandemic. Stay Housed L.A. complaints have almost doubled in the last few months compared to April 2021 when the program started tracking complaints received. 

The filing of the three cases is meant to raise awareness about the anti-harassment protections that are in place and discourage landlords from illegally trying to remove tenants. 

“Our Housing and Tenant Protections division and Stay Housed L.A. have been working diligently over this past year to ensure that tenants and property owners have access to the tools and resources needed to understand the protections that are in place,” said Rafael Carbajal, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.

Stay Housed L.A. is a partnership with the County of Los Angeles and a coalition of organizations that provide outreach, educational and legal support to tenants across the county. 

“We are proud to partner with courageous tenants who are willing to use their cases to raise awareness about the challenges that renters are facing as they struggle to recover from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic,” said Paul Estuar, lead attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, one of the lead coordinating organizations for Stay Housed L.A.

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