UPDATE: The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 7, approved banning the evictions of small business commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19 for non-payment of rent, effective immediately. Details follow.
San Mateo County this week banned evictions of small businesses that can’t pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed moratorium, which the County Board of Supervisors will consider at its meeting Tuesday, applies only to businesses in unincorporated areas of the County that have annual gross receipts of under $2.5 million.
Under the ordinance, qualifying commercial tenants would need to pay back rent up to 180 days after the local emergency declaration ends in the County. Also, before landlords can pursue an eviction during this period, they would need to provide a County form to commercial tenants notifying them of their rights under the ordinance.
The ordinance is effective immediately and remains in effect through May 31, unless extended by the Board.
Qualifications for relief under the emergency regulation include:
- a reduction in operating hours
- available workforce or consumer demand
- reduced business income due to illness
- increases in the tenant’s health care expenses or employee health care expenses for which the tenant is responsible
- increased costs of supplies or other overhead expenses
- temporary closure of the tenant’s business.
“Commercial tenants, just like all of us in this county and this world, did not ask for this pandemic and the health and financial uncertainties it brings,” Supervisor Warren Slocum, who co-sponsored the ordinance with Supervisor Dave Pine. “As leaders of this county, we must do everything we can to help our community and that includes protecting our businesses for their own sake as well as the community that relies on them.”
The County noted cities could enact similar moratoriums. Two weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors banned the eviction of residential renters countywide, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas, for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19.