This post contains information from the Mayor’s Fourth Supplemental Proclamation of a Local Emergency and concerns commercial evictions. If you are a small merchant and are facing eviction, you are urged to contact us at [email protected].
We have bolded sections that may be of interest, but nothing on this page should be construed as legal advice.
A moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent by commercial tenants directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis is imposed as follows:
(a) This Order applies only to commercial tenants registered to do business in San Francisco under Article 12 of the Business and Tax Regulations Code with 2019 combined worldwide gross receipts for tax year 2019 for purposes of Article 12-A-1 of the Business and Taxation Code equal to or below $25 million. This figure shall be pro rated in the case of businesses that were not operating for the entire 2019 tax year.
(b) If a covered commercial tenant fails to make a rent payment that was due on or after March 17, 2020, then the landlord may not recover possession of the unit due to the missed or delayed payment, without first providing the tenant written notice of the violation and an opportunity to cure the violation, as set forth in subsection (c).
(c) The written notice from the landlord required under subsection (b) shall specify a cure period of at least one month from the date the tenant receives the notice, but landlords are encouraged to offer a longer period. Upon receipt of the notice, the tenant shall have the full cure period to either (1) pay the rent, or (2) provide documentation to the landlord showing that the tenant is unable to pay the rent due to a financial impact related to COVID-19. For purposes of this Order, the term “financial impact” means a substantial decrease in business income due to illness or other disruption, reduced open hours or reduced consumer demand, or temporary closure of the business, including temporary closure required to comply with restrictions or in response to restrictions under the shelter in place or other orders of the Health Officer. A financial impact is “related to COVID-19” if caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.
(d) If the tenant provides the landlord documentation of the tenant’s inability to pay rent due to a financial impact related to COVID-19, then the cure period shall be extended by one month, so that the landlord and tenant can discuss the matter in good faith and attempt to develop a payment plan for the tenant to pay the missed rent. If the landlord and tenant cannot agree to a payment plan, then the tenant shall, on or before the new date that the cure period will expire, at the one-month mark, either (1) pay the rent, or (2) provide additional documentation of its continuing inability to pay due to a financial impact related to COVID-19, in which case the cure period shall extend by one more month. Thereafter, the tenant may obtain additional monthly extensions of the cure period by providing updated documentation each month, but under no circumstances shall the landlord be prohibited from evicting for non-payment for more than six months after the date the rent was originally due. If the tenant has not paid all outstanding rent at the end of the applicable cure period, then the landlord may proceed with the eviction for non-payment.
(e) Nothing in this Order relieves a tenant of the obligation to pay rent, nor restrict a landlord’s ability to recover the rent due through means other than an eviction for non payment.
(f) This Order will last for a period of 30 days, until the Proclamation of Local Emergency is terminated, or upon further Order from the Mayor, whichever occurs sooner. The cure period requirements of subsections (c) and (d) shall survive the expiration or termination of this Order for any missed rent payment that occurred prior to the expiration or termination of the Order. The Mayor may extend this Order by an additional period of 30 days if emergency conditions at that time warrant extension. The Mayor shall provide notice of the extension through an Executive Order posted on the Mayor’s website and delivered to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
(g) The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (“OEWD”) is delegated authority to adopt regulations and to develop and publish guidelines consistent with this Order, including forms and recommendations of the types of documentation that may show financial impacts related to COVID-19. OEWD shall also have the authority to grant waivers from this Order to landlords who can demonstrate that being unable to evict would cause them a significant financial hardship (for example, default on debt or similar enforceable obligation).