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Coronavirus: Confused About Paying Rent? LA City Launches Renters Outreach Program

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu launched a renters outreach program Wednesday meant to help educate renters and landlords on their new rights during the coronavirus crisis.

In an effort to clear up confusion, Ryu and housing advocates held the first telephone town hall on the city's eviction moratorium.

"We need relief for all Angelinos, renters, landlords," said Ryu.

City officials said renters do have to notify their landlords in writing that they cannot pay rent due to financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, but they don't need to show proof of it.

"You do not, let me repeat, you do not have to provide documentation to that. Nor do you have to sign an agreement saying how and when you are going to pay back the rent," said Executive Director of Coalition for Economic Survival Larry Gross.

"It's a good thing for people to keep their documentation in case down the road they have to prove it in court," he said.

Last month, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the moratorium was currently indefinite and renters would have 12 months to pay back rent once the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted.

"Things are constantly changing the laws are changing," said Gross.

Advocates like Gross said the law has to change saying making tenants pay back rent is only putting them in debt.

"Not paying rent for long periods of time, that debt is going to increase," Gross said.

Councilman Ryu's office said the situation is still fluid.

City Council members are set to discuss these issues again in the next council meeting which has yet to be scheduled.

They are set to discuss ways to give renters, landlords, and some small business owners more long term relief.

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