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Reopening Commercial Buildings: Guidelines and Legal Duties

Landlords and property managers have massive amounts of guidance materials available to them as they prepare to reopen their properties. These materials detail many different things a property owner can do.  In the face of this, the question being asked by many owners is: what are they actually required to do, what is their legal duty?  Unfortunately, the answer is both fact- and circumstance-specific, taking into account the property and its users, as well as federal, state and local requirements. But landlords and property managers should always be cautious about measures they commit to implement because commitments that exceed the minimum required by the circumstances can, if not implemented fully, expose them to liability.

As landlords and property managers prepare to reopen their commercial, retail, and office buildings, they have available to them a wide variety of guides and resources.  There is no shortage of these materials, which are being prepared and provided by commercial real estate trade groups and the large brokerage/property management companies, as well as all manner of law firms and other professional advisors.  As with much of the information that has circulated during the pandemic, available information has been packaged and repackaged, and pushed out in great volume.  Many people have described taking it as “drinking from a firehose.”  This makes sense — advisors want to be helpful to their clients and position themselves as experts to the public and prospective clients.

These materials offer detailed guidance on a wide variety of steps that can be taken to both make buildings safer and to make tenants and other users comfortable in returning to these spaces.  They provide thoughtful advice, recommendations, and practical checklists.  The guides include communications and management advice; social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting protocols; and guidance specific to different areas and elements of each property. Altogether, it is an impressive set of resources.

It is clear from reviewing these materials that there is a lot that landlords and property managers can do.  That there is always one more thing that can be done.    The practical question that these materials beg however is:  what does a landlord and property manager need to do in order to protect themselves from claims and liability?   What is required?  What is my duty as a landlord or property manager, and what is the standard of care? The materials are much more tight-lipped on this issue, in many ways the crucial, practical and bottom-line issue on the minds of landlords and property managers.

At least one of the trade groups has recognized the issue in their materials, declaring that “[t]his Guide or any part thereof does not, and is not intended to, create a standard of care for any real estate professional or property manager” and “is not meant to advocate, promote or suggest any preferred method or methods for dealing with a Pandemic.”  Additional comments beg the question: “Users should seek advice from a qualified professional before applying any information contained in this Guide to their own particular circumstances.  Users should always obtain appropriate professional advice on… legal issues.”  The concern is the liability exposure created if landlords have a duty to do all of these things, and the standard of care is compliance with these exhaustive guidelines.

The answer, unfortunately, is that it depends on the specific circumstances.  Most leases do not have provisions which clearly define or disclaim duties in connection with this pandemic.  This leaves the matter open to argument, and the various guidelines and industry resources can be part of that argument.  Establishing the existence of a legal duty and the applicable standard of care is key to a successful claim. For a tort claim of negligence against a landlord, a plaintiff will need to prove the landlord owed a duty to the plaintiff, the landlord breached the standard of care applicable to that duty, plaintiff suffered an injury, and the landlord’s breach of the standard of care was the proximate cause of that injury.

What is the standard of care?  California Civil Code 1714 (a) states that “everyone is responsible… for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person…” The courts have held that this duty of care espoused in Section 1714 applies to possessors of land for injuries to people on their premises (see Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108, 119) and that a landlord owes a tenant the same duty of reasonable care in providing and maintaining a leased premises. (Becker v. IRM Corp. (1985) 38 Cal.3d 454, 467.)  Under these cases, any departure from that standard will be analyzed by balancing various factors, including the foreseeability of the harm, the degree of certainty that the plaintiff suffered injury, the closeness of the connection between the defendant’s conduct and the injury suffered, the moral blame attached to the defendant’s conduct, the policy of preventing future harm, the extent of the burden to the defendant and consequences to the community of imposing a duty and liability and the availability of insurance for the risk involved.

The take-away from all of this for landlords and property managers is: be careful in taking on duties. The existence of a duty does not have a single, objective standard, and therefore landlords and property managers should be careful in defining and assuming these duties by, among other things, agreeing to perform certain tasks or assuming responsibility for obligations that they may not otherwise be responsible for.  If a duty is taken on, be sure that it is performed to the standard of care.  In other words, if you’re going to agree to do something, you need to actually do it; failing to complete that which you have agreed to do is prime fodder for a claim of negligence.

Landlords should also be mindful of their resources outside of the lease.  This can include reviewing available insurance coverage and other risk management tools to mitigate liability exposure, as well as revising leases as appropriate to clarify and define landlord’s duties going forward.  The current circumstances were difficult to predict, but a diligent landlord can minimize future issues by targeting the concerns raised and addressing them for future leases.

Opportunity Zone Funds and Investors Get Relief in Light of COVID-19

On June 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service published Notice 2020-39 (Notice) which provides relief to qualified opportunity funds (QOFs) and their investors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here is a summary, and more details follow below:

  • Investors who otherwise would be required to reinvest capital gains into a QOF any time this year on or after April 1 now have until December 31, 2020 to reinvest such gains.
  • A QOF’s failure to hold at least 90% of its assets in “QOZ property” on any semi-annual testing date from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 will not cause the entity to fail to qualify as a QOF.
  • Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses taking advantage of the working capital safe harbor can add an additional 24 months to their working capital safe harbor period.
  • The period between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 is disregarded for purposes of the 30-month “substantial improvement” period.
  • QOFs that received proceeds from the disposition of QOZ property have up to 12 additional months to reinvest those proceeds in QOZ property.
  1. Overview of Opportunity Zones. Congress created opportunity zones in 2017 to encourage investments in economically distressed communities.

The Opportunity Zone program provides taxpayers the opportunity to defer gain on the sale or exchange of an asset if the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund (a “QOF”) within 180 days. Note that the entire proceeds from an asset sale need not be invested in a QOF; rather, only the portion of the proceeds that represent gain must be invested in a QOF. The gain is deferred until the sooner of (i) the date the taxpayer sells its investment in the QOF or (ii) December 31, 2026. If the taxpayer invests in the QOF in 2020 or 2021, the amount of gain that will ultimately be recognized is reduced by 10%.

Additionally, if the taxpayer holds its QOF interest for 10 years, the taxpayer will recognize no taxable gain when they sell that investment. In order to be a QOF, an entity must be organized for the purpose of investing in QOZ Property and 90% or more of its total assets must be QOZ Property.  QOZ Property includes both new and substantially improved tangible property, including commercial real estate (e.g., offices buildings, apartment complexes, etc.) and equipment located in qualified opportunity zones. These investments can be direct or through subsidiary corporations or partnerships that operate businesses in qualified opportunity zones. Each U.S. state has its own qualified opportunity zones.

  1. Relief regarding 180-day investment requirement for QOF investors.


If a taxpayer has gain from the sale or exchange of property with an unrelated person, the taxpayer can elect to exclude from gross income the amount of such gain that the taxpayer invests in a QOF during the 180-day period following the date of such sale or exchange (“180-day investment requirement”).


The Notice states that if a taxpayer’s 180th day to invest in a QOF falls on or after April 1, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, the taxpayer now has until December 31, 2020 to invest the gain in a QOF.

III. Relief regarding 90% investment standard for QOFs.


For an investment vehicle to qualify as a QOF, it must be corporation or a partnership organized for the purpose of investing in QOZ property (other than another QOF).  The QOF must satisfy the 90% investment standard, meaning it must hold at least 90% of its assets in QOZ property, determined by the average of the percentage of QOZ property held by the QOF measured semi-annually on (i) on the last day of the first 6-month period of the QOF’s tax year (June 30 for calendar year taxpayers), and (ii) on the last day of the QOF’s tax year.

If the average of the percentages of the QOZ property held by a QOF on the semi-annual testing dates fails to meet the 90% investment standard, the QOF must pay a penalty for each month that the QOF fails to meet the standard. However, no such penalty is imposed “with respect to any failure if it is shown that such failure is due to reasonable cause.”


The Notice provides relief by stating that, in the case of a QOF whose (i) last day of the first 6-month period of the tax year or (ii) last day of the tax year falls within the period beginning on April 1, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020, any failure by that QOF to satisfy the 90% investment standard for that tax year is disregarded for purposes of determining whether the QOF meets the 90% investment standard rules. This prevents QOFs from being held liable for the statutory penalty.

  1. Relief regarding working capital safe harbor for QOZ businesses.


An entity must meet certain requirements to be a “QOZ business,” including the requirement that less than 5% of the average of the aggregate unadjusted bases of the entity’s property be attributable to “nonqualified financial property” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code — essentially cash and cash equivalents). However, if the QOF satisfies the “working capital safe harbor”, the QOF may hold an unlimited percentage of its assets in cash and short-term instruments.

One of the safe harbor requirements is that the business keep a written schedule consistent with the ordinary start-up of a trade or business for the expenditure of the working capital assets within 31 months of the receipt by the business of the assets. A QOZ business can extend the working capital safe harbor period to a maximum of 62 months. If a QOZ business is located in a QOZ within a presidentially declared disaster area, then the QOZ business may receive an additional 24 months to expend its working capital assets.


The Notice provides relief by stating that, as a result of the emergency declaration by President Trump on March 13, 2020 regarding COVID-19, all QOZ businesses covered by the working capital safe harbor before December 31, 2020 now will receive up to 24 additional months to expend the working capital assets of the QOZ business (i.e., the QOZ business now has up to 86 months to expend working capital).

  1. Relief regarding 30-month substantial improvement period for QOFs.


QOZ Property includes tangible property acquired after 2017 if (i) the entity puts the property to its original use in the QOZ (“original use requirement”), or (ii) the property is substantially improved (“substantial improvement requirement”).

The substantial improvement requirement is met only if, during any 30-month period beginning after the date of acquisition, there are “additions to basis with respect to such property” that, in the aggregate, exceed the adjusted basis of that property as of the beginning of that 30-month period (“30-month substantial improvement period”).


The Notice provides relief by stating that, for purposes of the substantial improvement requirement, the period beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020 is disregarded in determining any 30-month substantial improvement period.

  1. Relief regarding 12-month reinvestment period for QOFs.


If a QOF sells or disposes of some or all of its QOZ property or if a distribution with respect to the QOF’s QOZ stock is treated as a return of capital, and if the QOF reinvests some or all of the proceeds in QOZ property by the last day of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the distribution, sale, or disposition, then the reinvested proceeds are treated as QOZ property for purposes of the 90% investment standard.

To qualify for such treatment, the QOF needs to hold such proceeds continuously in cash, cash equivalents, or debt instruments with a term of 18 months or less. If the QOF’s plan to reinvest some or all of such proceeds in QOZ property is delayed due to a presidentially declared disaster, then the QOF may receive up to an additional 12 months to reinvest the proceeds, provided that the QOF invests the proceeds in the manner originally intended before the disaster.


The Notice provides relief by stating that if any QOF’s 12-month reinvestment period includes January 20, 2020, then that QOF receives up to an additional 12 months to reinvest the proceeds in QOZ property.

Post Moratorium Evictions

As the first of the rent moratoriums are expiring, landlords throughout California are eager to file unlawful detainer actions to obtain possession of their properties from tenants who have failed to pay rent or comply with repayment obligations. While it is natural for landlords to want to immediately initiate unlawful-detainer proceedings, they should proceed with caution. Landlords who issued 3-day or 30-day notices to their tenants for failure to pay rent during the moratorium period would be wise not to rely on those notices as the basis of an unlawful detainer action.

Many of the moratoriums specifically prohibit the issuance of those notices during their operative period.  For the overly eager landlord filing a prompt unlawful-detainer action, that action may fail because it is based on a defective notice issued at a time when it was specifically prohibited by a moratorium.

While it is understandable that landlords want to recoup their rents and obtain possession, care must be given to ensure that the unlawful detainers are based on enforceable notices, which do not violate the moratoriums. Only valid notices will permit landlords to obtain possession and judgments for past rent as expeditiously as possible. Proceeding on the basis of an invalid notice will be counterproductive and delay matters further.

The lawyers of Weintraub Tobin are able to discuss any notices a landlord may have provided to confirm their appropriateness for an unlawful-detainer proceeding to avoid newly enacted defenses.

Strategies for Granting Rent Relief in the Age of COVID-19

Over the past several months, the COVID-19 health crisis has affected everyday life by a magnitude that is hard to fathom. Routine tasks, such as going to the grocery store or walking the dog, suddenly necessitate precautions like face masks, social distancing, and excessive amounts of sanitizer. Unemployment is near record levels, businesses have shuttered, and most of us are confined to our homes to avoid further spreading the COVID-19 disease.

Yet while most of us have adjusted to the “new normal” and cities and counties begin to reopen, it’s hard not to think we’ve hit just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how this crisis will affect our lives for many years to come. Federal, state and local jurisdictions have adopted aggressive measures to mitigate the potentially disastrous effects, including direct stimulus checks and forgivable loan programs, but these programs will expire soon. When these funds are no longer available and the new post-COVID-19 reality sets in, all of us will need to reassess both our personal and professional circumstances.

Landlords and tenants are no exception. While the Paycheck Protection Program and other federal funding options helped many tenants survive the initial few months of the crisis, these tenants will continue to struggle to pay rent long after their funding has been used. Landlords are left in a difficult situation – evict the tenant (assuming no moratoria apply) and spend months searching for a new tenant, or provide relief to the tenant in an effort to maintain occupancy until the economy recovers.

There are many approaches for providing rent relief, each of which has both advantages and disadvantages for landlords seeking to preserve their rental stream and minimize their losses. These options, of course, are subject to any other landlord commitments such as loan covenants, reporting obligations, and other financial requirements. Below are some of these options:

Rent Abatement
For many landlords, abatement of rent for one or more months represents the quickest and most straightforward option to provide relief for a struggling tenant. Doing so offers a tenant the prospect of removing what is often a primary expense and, for tenants that can continue to operate, hopefully building up sufficient revenues to resume paying rent the following months. Moreover, tenants often perceive rent abatements positively, potentially strengthening the landlord-tenant relationship going forward. Landlords must weigh these benefits against waiving rent that is otherwise properly due and payable under the lease without any prospect of repayment.

Rent Deferral
Often the most practical option, deferring rent allows a landlord to offer immediate relief to a tenant without actually sacrificing the payment of rent. Whether with interest or not, deferred rent can be spread over a period of several months or the remainder of the term in regular monthly, quarterly or annual payments. While many enactments permitting repayment preclude late fees or interest, nothing prevents a landlord and tenant from agreeing to include such additional amounts to offset the benefit of deferred rent. Unlike rent abatement, this option ensures payment of all rent, with landlords simply bearing the cost of the time value of money.

Monetary Concessions
In lieu of abating or deferring rent, a landlord can abate or defer other costs for which a tenant is otherwise responsible under the lease, such as operating expenses, insurance, taxes and the like. For landlords with loan obligations or other reporting requirements which mandate certain rent thresholds, offering other monetary concessions provides tenant relief without jeopardizing important landlord commitments. These concessions represent hard costs incurred by a landlord, however, so their forgiveness is not often a much better alternative absent a specific reason for preferring payment of rent.

Blend and Extend
Landlords and tenants wanting to provide rent abatement without sacrificing the total amount due under a lease can instead elect to extend the term of a lease in exchange for a rent credit. This option, often referred to as “blend and extend,” provides a longer rental stream for the landlord in exchange for immediate rent relief for the tenant. For many landlords, the prospect of a longer tenant commitment may afford additional value justifying the credit to the tenant. Landlords must also consider that this option sacrifices potential rent during this extended period from the existing tenant or a third-party tenant.

Additional Security
A common approach to rent relief immediately following the start of the COVID-19 crisis involved application of a tenant’s security deposit to rent immediately due and requiring replenishment at a later date. While this alternative maintained cash flow for a landlord, it often merely delayed a tenant’s eventual difficulty in paying rent. Rather than seek security through a deposit, sophisticated landlords prefer to seek actual collateral, personal guarantees or letters of credit from their tenants in exchange for immediate rent relief. This right strengthens a landlord’s position if the tenant ultimately fails and breaches its lease. Of course, relying on additional security suggests an eventual tenant default and lease enforcement, a prospect landlords generally like to avoid.

Non-monetary Concessions
When financial concessions are impractical, landlords may prefer to seek other benefits with respect to their leases which confer value for the landlord. This may include removal of early termination rights, rights of first refusal, options to extend or other rights originally granted to a tenant to complete a lease transaction. While these rights may not immediately offset the loss of rent, the concessions otherwise received may ultimately offer greater benefit for the landlord.

In evaluating the above strategies, landlords would be wise to require a tenant requesting relief to adequately demonstrate financial hardship. Many opportunistic tenants have seized upon the current situation to seek rent relief despite consistent or improved revenues. A shrewd landlord can often stymie these tactics by demanding the tenant provide ample financial records and information, including prior year financial statements, tax returns, sales reports, and bank statements, showing that the tenant cannot satisfy its leasehold obligations. If a tenant has received financial assistance from a federal loan relief program, the landlord should require those funds be paid toward rent to the extent permissible.

Regardless of which approach(es) a landlord may pursue, landlords must be careful to condition such relief on a tenant’s full performance of all remaining obligations under its lease. A landlord offering relief is not in a better position after doing so if, a few short months later, the tenant defaults, leaving the landlord without a tenant and with less rental income to collect via enforcement. It is critical for landlords to preserve all of their rights and claims under a lease while acting in good faith to assist their tenants during this difficult time.

Like their tenants, landlords must adjust to the new reality presented by the current COVID-19 health crisis. With a practical, reasoned approach, however, landlords can minimize the unwanted effects attendant with a pandemic and assist their tenants survive without unnecessarily forgiving a substantial portion of their rental income. If you would like assistance preparing lease amendments addressing these issues, the attorneys at Weintraub Tobin are here to help.

Coronavirus-Related Tax Relief for the Real Estate and Agricultural Industries

Through various mechanisms, the federal government has issued several forms of tax relief to real estate and agricultural businesses impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the tax relief was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). However, the Internal Revenue Service has also issued guidance providing additional relief. This discussion is intended to serve as a high-level summary for professionals in the real estate and agricultural industries seeking tax relief.

a. Net Operating Loss Carrybacks. When a taxpayer’s total deductions exceed its gross income for a given year, the taxpayer has a net operating loss (or NOL). Taxpayers who incurred NOLs in tax years 2018 and 2019 were not permitted to carryback those losses to generate a refund of taxes paid during previous tax years. Now, under the CARES Act, taxpayers will have a 5-year carryback of NOLs incurred in 2018, 2019 or 2020. Accordingly, if your business generated an NOL in 2018 or 2019 and had earned taxable income in prior years, you may be able to amend your tax returns and receive an immediate tax refund. Similarly, any 2020 NOL can be used to generate a refund of prior year taxes when tax returns are filed next year. Note that, by separate guidance, the IRS is permitting amended returns for certain partnerships which were previously precluded from filing amended returns.

b. Retail Glitch / Qualified Improvement Property Fix. “Qualified Improvement Property” is essentially any improvement made to an existing non-residential building. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) inadvertently eliminated bonus depreciation for Qualified Improvement Property. To remedy this, the CARES Act includes a technical correction reinstating the bonus depreciation deduction for taxpayers effective as of tax year 2018. Taxpayers can immediately amend their 2018 and/or file 2019 tax returns and claim these additional deductions to produce a tax refund.

c. Modification of Limitation on Business Interest. Current tax law limits taxpayers’ net interest expense deduction to 30% of adjusted taxable income. “Electing real property trade or businesses” (“ERTBs”) are exempt from this 30% limitation. However, electing ERTB status decreases the amount of depreciation available to such business for income tax purposes.

The CARES Act modified the 30% limitation for tax years 2019 and 2020. For partnerships, the 30% limitation continues to apply for the 2019 tax year. However, partners of the partnership may deduct 50% of the 2019 disallowed excess business interest expense on their 2020 returns without regard to the applicable percentage limitations. Additionally, the partnership’s 2020 limitation is increased from 30% of adjusted taxable income to 50% of adjusted taxable income. For taxpayers other than partnerships, the 30% limitation is increased to 50% for tax years 2019 and 2020.

Additionally, the IRS has issued guidance allowing businesses to withdraw a previous election to be treated as a real property trade or business, thereby allowing the business to potentially optimize the amount of interest expense deductions and depreciation deductions.

d. Extensions of Time-Sensitive Actions (Section 1031 Exchanges and Qualified Opportunity Zones). As you may be aware, the deadline to file and pay 2019 federal income taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020. Additionally, in recent guidance, the IRS is permitting certain taxpayers engaged in active section 1031 exchanges to extend the 45-day identification period or the 180-day period to complete the exchange until July 15, 2020. If you are engaged in an exchange and either the 45-day period or the 180-day period falls between April 1 and July 14, 2020, the applicable period is automatically extended to July 15, 2020.

Similarly, the Qualified Opportunity Zone tax incentive program permits taxpayers to reinvest capital gains within 180 days of realizing such gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund and thereby defer recognition of the realized gains. If your 180-day investment period falls between April 1, 2020 and July 14, 2020, you have until July 15, 2020, to invest any realized capital gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund and realize the full benefits of the Qualified Opportunity Zone tax incentive program.

e. Losses incurred by Owners of Pass-through Entities. The TCJA imposed limits on the amount of business losses non-corporate taxpayers could use to offset non-business income for tax years starting in 2018. The CARES Act has withdrawn these limits, allowing owners of businesses conducted through pass-through entities generating large losses to offset unlimited amounts of personal non-business income through 2020. Taxpayers who incurred significant business losses in 2018 or 2019 which exceeded the permitted limits should file amended returns to claim refunds. This provision may be of particular importance to individuals with large real estate portfolios.

f. Employee Retention Tax Credits. Eligible employers will receive a refundable credit against payroll taxes. To be eligible, the employer must have (i) had its business operations fully or partially suspended by governmental order or (ii) suffered a 50% reduction in year-over-year gross receipts (comparing calendar quarters). The credit can be as much as $5,000 per employee. This credit cannot be used by certain SBA loan recipients.

g. Deferral of Employer’s Share of Payroll Taxes. Employers and self-employed individuals will be permitted to defer payment of the employer share of social security taxes for the remainder of the year. One-half of deferred payroll taxes must be paid by the end of 2021 and the remainder must be paid by the end of 2022. Recipients of loan forgiveness under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program will not be permitted to defer payment of payroll taxes.

Commercial Eviction Moratoriums in California and Other Real Estate Issues Arising From the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on March 16, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shutoffs. In response, numerous California municipalities have passed emergency orders enacting moratoriums on evictions. These orders vary from entity to entity, with some protecting only residential tenants, and others including commercial tenants. The orders also vary from entity to entity to the extent that some constitute a blanket moratorium, while others require the tenant to demonstrate that inability to pay is related to the pandemic. However, all of the ordinances are clear, the moratoriums result in rent deferral, not rent forgiveness.

As of March 20, 2020, the governmental entities that have passed such moratoriums include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • City of Sacramento at least until March 31, 2020. Residential only.
  • City of West Sacramento through May 31, 2020.
  • City of San Francisco through April 30, 2020.
  • City of San Jose through April 17, 2020.
  • City of Fresno through April 19, 2020.
  • City of Los Angeles through March 31, 2020.
  • County of Los Angeles through May 31, 2020.
  • City of Santa Monica through April 30, 2020.
  • City of Pasadena through a date to be determined.
  • City of Glendale through March 31, 2020.
  • City of Long Beach through May 31, 2020.
  • City of San Diego through April 10, 2020.

The County of Sacramento and the City of Oakland are considering their own moratoriums and are expected to act at some point later this week.  Similarly, although most of the municipalities within Orange County have yet to take action, they are actively considering their own moratoriums. Interestingly, the City of Elk Grove considered a moratorium, but voted against it (4 to 1). On a related note, the federal government has suspended foreclosures on mortgages backed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Federal Housing Administration for 60 days.

In addition to these moratoriums, it is important to know that numerous courts throughout the state are not presently processing or adjudicating unlawful detainer (eviction) proceedings. The majority of the courts are presently closed to the public, with all jury and bench trials deferred. As such, even if these moratoriums were not in place, most courts are unavailable to provide relief.

This situation is constantly evolving, with the local governments, the state government, and the federal government continuously analyzing the situation and considering appropriate relief. We will continue to monitor the evolving landscape and will be prepared to provide any necessary legal assistance. It is important to analyze every situation on its own merit before taking action, as each moratorium varies from the others. It is equally important to understand that there may be post-moratorium, contractual ramifications. Accordingly, if you are impacted by these moratoriums, or believe that you have other COVID-19-related real estate issues, contact us.