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Non-Eviction Ordinance Extended to Commercial Properties

City Manager Dylan Feik reports that last night (Tuesday, April 7), the City Council approved an Urgency Ordinance to prohibit commercial evictions for non-payment of rent and “no-fault” evictions during the time of the Coronavirus emergency.

Here is a summary of the ordinance:
  • During the existence of the local emergency, no commercial property owner or agent shall take any action, or threaten, to evict a tenant in either of the following situations -
    • Nonpayment of rent, late fees, or other fees or charges, if the landlord knows that the tenant is unable to pay the same due to financial impacts related to COVID-19
    • No-fault eviction unless immediately necessary for the health and safety of tenants, neighbors or the landlord, other than based on illness of the tenant or any other occupant of the tenant or any other occupant
  • Tenant must notify the landlord
    • Tenant must give notice of inability to pay rent within 7 days after the date rent is due.
    • Tenant must notify landlord in writing that tenant has incurred financial impacts as defined by the ordinance
    • Within 30 days after the date rent is due, tenant must provide written documentation to landlord to support the tenant’s inability to pay all or part of the rent due.
    • Also, it is important that tenant has applied for applicable state and federal aid programs and must supply to the landlord.
  • For purposes of this ordinance, “financial impacts” means –
    • Loss of the tenant’s monthly business income due to business closure
    • Loss of compensable business, sales, or fees
    • Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • A financial impact is “related to COVID-19” if resulted from any of the following–
    • A key employee or manager of the tenant’s diagnosis with COVID-19 or that person’s need to care for a household or immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19
    • Loss of business, fees or business income resulting from the Safer at Home Order, a business closure, or other economic impacts of COVID-19
    • Compliance with a recommendation or order from the County Health Officer to close the business, stay at home, isolate, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
    • Extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses related to diagnosis and testing for treatment of COVID-19
    • The business owner, manager or key employees’ need to provide additional child care costs arising from school closures related to COVID-19
  • During the period of local emergency, all tenants shall pay timely that portion of the rent the tenant is able to pay.
    • Nothing in this ordinance relieves tenants of any liability for unpaid rent which landlords may seek after expiration of the local emergency.
    • Tenants must pay all rent that is due within 6 months following the termination of this local emergency. All tenants are encouraged to work hand-in-hand with landlords.
  • Finally, this ordinance prevents the enforcement of non-payment eviction notices, no-fault eviction notices, and unlawful detainer actions based on such notices and may be used as defense to any such action by a landlord in violation of this ordinance.
- Brad Haugaard

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