Marta Cruz, a 62-year-old Latina grandmother, was evicted from the room she rented in East Los Angeles without any notice. She left her house one day and returned to find that the locks had been changed and she was not allowed to take any of her belongings. Marta’s finances had been affected by the pandemic, causing her income to plummet and making it difficult for her to pay rent. Despite this, she claims that the company that owns the house never gave her an eviction notice in advance.
According to California law, landlords are required to give tenants notice before evicting them. Attorney Clemente Franco explained that it is illegal for a landlord to change the locks or force a tenant out without obtaining an eviction order. In Marta’s case, the lawyer stated that she technically has the right to remove the locks and re-enter her unit if she was evicted without a court process.
In Los Angeles, the eviction moratorium is set to expire on January 31, which has caused concern for many families who have not received any help. The City Council is considering extending protections, but activists fear that this may not be enough to prevent more evictions and homelessness.
Several organizations in Los Angeles are dedicated to supporting tenants’ rights and providing resources for those facing eviction. These include Housing Rights, Tenant Union, Los Angeles Housing + Community, Housing Now, Eviction Defense Network, Unincorporated Tenants United, LACCLA, and Tenant Together. These organizations offer legal services, education on tenant rights, and advocacy for affordable housing.
Marta’s eviction highlights the challenges faced by many tenants in Los Angeles, especially during the pandemic. It is important for tenants to be aware of their rights and seek support from organizations that can help them navigate the eviction process and access resources to secure stable housing.
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