Commercial Eviction Moratorium Approved by San Diego City Council
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
by: BOMA San Diego

Section: News

Commercial Eviction Moratorium Approved by San Diego City Council
The San Diego City Council on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 passed the residential and commercial eviction moratorium ordinances proposed by Mayor Todd Gloria.  The two “emergency” ordinances go into effect immediately. 
For the residential ordinance, should the legislature extend the statewide moratorium, the city’s ordinance would only be in effect should the newly extended state residential moratorium expire before the end of the local state of emergency. 
For the commercial moratorium, the commercial real estate community, including BOMA San Diego, were able to secure some important amendments to the original proposal, including:
  • A specific end date of June 30, 2021, which was added to the proposed end which would be 60 days after the end of the local state of emergency, whichever comes first
  • Reducing from 14 days to 7 days the time in which a commercial tenant has to provide documentation of hardship
  • Narrowing the applicability to truly small business, which would mean a business with 100 or fewer employees and $3 million a year in revenue or less
  • Requiring payback of different rent within 6 months of the commercial ordinance’s termination
Testifying on behalf of BOMA, Craig Benedetto, BOMA San Diego’s Legislative Advocate, expressed concern about the proposed ordinance and the unintended consequences associated with this action, noting in letter and public comment that this is a shifting of the economic burden from the tenant to the property owner. 
The residential measure passed 8-1 (with Councilmember Cate voting no) and the commercial measure passed 9-0 with the additional amendment offered by Councilmember Raul Campillo to reduce the timeframe for providing hardship documentation from 14 days to 7 days as noted above. 
In summary, the commercial eviction moratorium ordinance will:
  • Allow commercial tenants to be protected from eviction if they have experienced COVID-19 hardship that harms their ability to pay rent
  • Require the tenant to provide notice up to 7 days after rent is due to the property owner that they don’t intend to pay rent
  • Would allow the property owner to request and require the tenant to provide documentation of hardship no later than 7 days after the request from the property owner is made
  • The protection would be retroactive to March 12, 2020 and would last 60 days after the end of the declaration of a local public health emergency or June 30, 2021, whichever is sooner
  • Would require the owed rent to paid back over 6 months after the termination of the ordinance