I recently met with a potential client who was served a “3-day notice to pay rent or quit”…which happened to be improperly served…which came after a 60-day notice to vacate had been served two weeks prior…which happened to have been rescinded days later by the attorney…MY POINT IS THIS: the Rent Stabilization Ordinance of Los Angeles (aka “rent control”) is complicated enough, but throw in Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) regulations and someone is bound to foul things up. There are many victims when attorneys, property management companies, housing authorities and tenants are playing with bad information. By the way, in the example I mentioned above, the property was just recently taken back by the bank (current owner) from a delinquent owner (original landlord/lessor). Sound familiar in today’s real estate climate?
Based on my discussion with the potential client, I thought I would share one important piece of information when it comes to evicting tenants in Los Angeles when the subject property has been accepted into the REAP program. Among the many legal steps a landlord must take before, during and after an eviction action, REAP introduces a handful of other considerations.
Prior to initiating an eviction action against a REAP tenant, the landlord must request verification in writing from the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) that the tenant has not paid rent into the REAP account. LAHD must respond within three (3) business days. The landlord shall not initiate any actions to evict on the basis on nonpayment of rent without making this inquiry. Naturally, if the landlord receives confirmation that the tenant has paid the rent to LAHD, no eviction action shall be initiated based on nonpayment.