Tenants in Santa Clarita now have extended protection against evictions and additional time to pay back rent as a result of Tuesday’s City Council vote.
Council members voted unanimously to amend the city’s eviction moratorium order to read that residential and commercial renters are now protected through June 30 and have payback options for up to nine months.
The initial ordinance, issued March 31, prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent through May 31. Renters had six months after the ban’s expiration date to pay for the missed payment in addition to any then-current due amount but without the implementation of any late fees.
Changes to the order come after Los Angeles County amended its own eviction ban and rent payback provisions in April to reflect that tenants also had until June 30 and up to 12 months to pay back missed rent. The county’s directive only applied to tenants in unincorporated areas, however.
“This item came up, it was because someone was inquiring as to why the county residents were given over six months or 12 months to pay their rent in increments,” said Councilwoman Marsha McLean.
To offer city residents the same extended protections, Santa Clarita looked to make changes to its sown eviction ban. Council members discussed Tuesday whether to rescind its order or amend it to mirror the county’s directive.
The proposal was originally to repeal the city’s own ordinance and instead adopt an emergency ordinance allowing the county’s eviction and payback options to supersede the city’s.
“The item was drafted as a rescission just because that’s the most expedient resolution because automatically you then mirror the county in any amendments the county makes, you don’t have to take any further action. But if a council wishes to go in a different direction you certainly can,” City Attorney Joe Montes told council members.
After a brief discussion, the City Council voted to amend its original ordinance rather than repeal it and issue an emergency ordinance.