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The County of Los Angeles has extended its Moratorium and Protection of COMMERCIAL TENANTS through June 30, 2021

As you may be aware, in California, SB 3088 now known as the COVID Tenant Relief Act (“CTRA”) governs what may and may not be done with respect to Residential Tenants statewide. On January 29, 2021, the protection provided by CTRA was extended further pursuant to SB 91. Neither SB 3088 or SB 91 govern or impact Commercial Tenancies.   

In California, the protection of Commercial Tenants was left up to local jurisdictions (cities and counties) to provide. The County of Los Angeles has continued to provide extensive protection of Commercial Tenants and has now expanded and extended its protection with its February 23, 2021 Resolution.   

While the entire ordinance is attached and is highlighted for your convenience, the following are key points regarding Commercial Tenants:  
The Moratorium Period commenced March 4, 2020 and has now been extended through June 30, 2021. Page 7, Section III, D.   The only Commercial Tenants exempt from the protection offered are those that are (a) multi-national, publicly-traded or have more than 100 employees; or (b) are located at airports. Page 7, Section III, H. 3. a & b.  

IMPORTANT: The County Ordinances covers way more than most counties cover. Please read carefully. The county ordinance covers:

a. All unincorporated areas of the County; and   b.  All cities with Los Angeles County unless the city has a moratorium in effect that offers “greater” protection than that offered by the county. In other words, the ordinance that offers the most protection shall prevail. Page 8, Section IV. B.1&2.
No Commercial Tenant shall be evicted for nonpayment provided the nonpayment is COVID related. Page 9, Section V. A. 1.a.  

Commercial Tenants with 9 or fewer employees may self-certify their inability to pay rent. Commercial Tenants with 10-100 employees must provide written documentation. Page 11, Section V. B. 2.  

Repayment period for Commercial Tenants with 9 or fewer employees have twelve (12) months to repay; Commercial Tenants with 10-99 employees have six (6) months to repay. The repayment period for both groups does not start until after the moratorium ends. Pages 11 & 12, Section V. C. 2. a & b.  

The new Resolution provides for (a) Administrative Fines against landlords with a maximum fine of $5,000 per violation; (b) Civil Liability which allows a tenant to sue a landlord who has violated a provision; and (c) Criminal Liability pursuant to section 2.68.320 of the county code. Pages 14 & 15, Section IX & X.  

The county has retained the right to extend the ordinance further. Page 18, Section XIV.
View February 23, 2021 Resolution
View February 23, 2021 Guidelines

Written by Seide Law and reprinted with permission