What happens once commercial eviction moratoriums end?
Land Use Partner Andrew Starrels was quoted in a Commercial Observer article about what happens once commercial eviction moratoriums end. After California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the global pandemic, he allowed municipalities to enact moratoriums on commercial evictions for tenants who can’t pay rent, and many local lawmakers rushed to do exactly that. Now, more than three months later, those moratoria are still in place, and the ones about to expire are being extended. Tenant advocates and small business owners warn that an apocalyptic wave of closures awaits California once the moratoriums end.
“There are a lot of the national tenants who just told my clients, “Yeah, we’re not paying any rent,” said Mr. Starrels. “And that’s going to lead to some interesting negotiations later, because a lot of those retailers have thriving online practices.” Mr. Starrels said most landlords don’t have a problem with the idea of an eviction moratorium if policymakers address those kinds of issues and set a timeframe, rather than tying them to declared states of emergency. He said there will be some inevitable evictions and vacancies stemming from the economic downturn, but not a flood. “Maybe it’s in between flood and drought,” he said. “There are going to be some businesses that have existential problems with reopening and keeping their customers and employees there [with social distancing mandates and capacity restrictions].”
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