Moratorium passed to stop small business evictions

Daily Post Staff Writer

San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors today (April 7) unanimously passed a moratorium on evictions of small businesses whose income has been hurt due to COVID-19.

The moratorium only covers small businesses that make less than $2.5 million in gross receipts in a year in unincorporated county, which includes North Fair Oaks, west Menlo Park and parts of the coastside.

This means that in the individual cities in the county will have to approve their own bans on commercial evictions. But cities can base their ordinances off of the one passed by the county.

“Each city has a unique relationship with their business community so they will pass something that works best for their city,” said County Counsel John Beiers.

San Mateo has already passed a ban on commercial evictions and Menlo Parks’ council was set to discuss such a ban at its meeting tonight (April 7).

Naveen Gupta, the owner of jump house Pump It Up in unincorporated Belmont, said that with the closure, she is not able to pay her rent of $20,000. She said that while her landlord is being understanding, she and her family are “bleeding our hard earned money and savings” while having no idea of when she will be able to open up her business again.

The moratorium will be in effect until May 31, unless the stay-at-home order, and the moratorium, are extended.

This moratorium does not let business owners off the hook for paying rent. If they are able, business owners are to make at least partial rent payments while the stay-at-home order and moratorium are still in effect.

Once the moratorium is over, small businesses will be liable for back rent for 180 days, or six months. Tenants will have to request up to three extensions after the first three months, according to the ordinance establishing the moratorium.

Businesses that need help with covering their payroll during the stay-at-home shutdown can apply for help from the Small Business Administration. The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Plan will provide businesses with fewer than 500 employees forgivable loans to cover eight weeks of payroll if the firms avoid layoffs.

1 Comment

  1. On April 6, the state Judicial Council adopted an interim rule for California courts disallowing issuance of a “summons” in an eviction (“unlawful detainer”) case until 90 days after the declared end of the current emergency with an exception that landlords may apply for a court order permitting issuance of the summons when needed for health and safety (such as shutting down a CRACK HOUSE). A “summons” is the document that directs the defendant(s) in a non-criminal case to file a response to a lawsuit or face entry of a default. In the case of an eviction lawsuit, the summons gives a defendant only 5 court days (usually 7 calendar days) from service to file a response. A landlord may file an eviction case but cannot serve a copy of the case (the “complaint”) with the “summons” needed to compel a response and move forward with the case. So figure very few eviction cases will be filed. But unpaid rent will still be owed and could result in an eviction lawsuit when not paid in full down the road. So try to not fall behind.

Comments are closed.