LOS ANGELES - Eviction moratoriums in the City of Los Angeles were meant to help renters with hardships amid the coronavirus pandemic, but some people who never lost their jobs or fell ill to COVID-19 are now accused of abusing the system.
"My renter hasn’t paid any rent since November of last year. I don’t know how this is related to COVID-19,” said homeowner Teyte Chontal.
He is desperately pleading for help. Chontal said his rental property located in Granada Hills is occupied with people who owe him more than $30,000 in rent. The courts ruled in Chontal’s favor and issued a writ of execution, which is a green light for eviction but because of the pandemic, it was never carried out.
"They’re thinking rent’s free because that’s basically what the politicians are telling them," said Eviction Attorney Dennis P. Block.
Block represents Chontal and says there are many landlords in the same predicament.
"Everybody is using the COVID defense to not pay the rent...obviously encouraged by our politicians. All you have to do is say 'COVID' and you have rent deferment," Block added.
Chontal says he’s called the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s office and the Board of Supervisors but they all give him the runaround.
LA City Councilman John Lee, who represents the 12th District said: "We’re working with the county right now to fix that loophole because there are so many people that have fallen in that and its no fault of the landlord."