Contra Costa County suspends evictions, rent increases amid coronavirus shutdown
If you are thinking I’ll skip sending the rent check for my residence, there are some remedies in place. For the months of April and May, you can withhold your rent check provided you submit a letter declaring your hardship and it must be submitted within 7 days from the date your rent was due. And the rent will still need to be paid in the future. California does have a “no eviction” order in place.
Now let’s turn to commercial real estate. If you are a Landlord and having your tenant skip a rent check or defer payment can save that business from failing over the next few months, would it be worth the hit? Many tenants are asking for deferrals and some are asking for rent abatement for up to four months. Sure, the CARES act and the SBA loans will help our small businesses get through this, but is it enough? Landlords and Tenants are going to be scrambling to review leases to understand what can and can not be done.
We have all heard “We are all in this together.” This is where the rubber hits the road. Can they create workable solutions where everyone survives? The last thing Landlords want is an empty space which once was occupied by a good tenant who always paid on time.
During yesterday’s Chamber Virtual Meeting, the question was asked if there is any protection to businesses if they fail to pay their rent on commercial property. In cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, there are ordinances in place that prohibit commercial lease evictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic. There is no order like that in Lamorinda at this time.
What can businesses do to get through this? Talk to your landlord. Find a solution that works for both of you. There is no cookie-cutter approach to this. You might even suggest using your security deposit for this month. Of course you would have to restore that after this is over.
If you are a commercial tenant, please try to remember your landlord has the same financial obligations you have. We are all in this together.