The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved a temporary ordinance to allow people to defer payments on their storage units for three months and prohibit evictions until after Safer at Home orders are lifted.
City Councilman David Ryu, who authored the ordinance, said Los Angeles is the first major U.S. city to specifically prohibit storage unit evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Working people are facing bill after bill right now when so many have lost their job,” Ryu said. “Any opportunity we have to reduce that burden, we should take. I’m proud to see Los Angeles pass this protection. Angelenos should be focused on their health and their families, not worried about losing their belongings.”
The ordinance is similar to temporary laws to protect tenants who rent apartment units, according to Ryu, as it protects their belongings from being destroyed or sold at auction if the tenant cannot pay rent.
Under the newly passed measure, a tenant is required to inform the storage unit company within seven days of rent being due if they cannot make rent due to coronavirus-related burdens, which can include loss of work or income, increased childcare costs or caring for a relative sick with COVID-19.
The ordinance also requires storage unit companies to provide written notice of the new protection, in English and Spanish, to each storage unit renter.
The ordinance was passed with an urgency clause, which allows it to take effect immediately if signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.