Scott D. Wiener
Existing law permits the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency during conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property, including epidemics. Existing law provides that the proclamation takes effect immediately, affords specified powers to the Governor, and terminates upon further proclamation by the Governor. Existing law prohibits the eviction of residential tenants during the pendency of a state of emergency, except as specified. This bill would prohibit a commercial landlord, as defined, from serving a specified notice of eviction on a commercial tenant, as defined, until 90 days after the state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor on March 4, 2020, is lifted and if specified criteria apply, including that the commercial tenant served a written notice on the landlord affirming, under the penalty of perjury, that the commercial tenant is an eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant. By creating a new crime with regard to the notice being signed under the penalty of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would define an "eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant" for the purposes of these provisions as a commercial tenant, operating primarily in California, that occupies commercial real property pursuant to a lease and that meets certain financially related criteria. The bill would provide that specified notices of eviction served on commercial tenants are void under specified circumstances, including that the commercial tenant was an eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant at the time the notice of eviction was served. The bill, among other things, would also provide a means for stopping an eviction in process, prohibit nonpayment of rent during the state of emergency from being grounds for an unlawful detainer action, as provided, limit when late fees can be imposed on a commercial tenancy, and require the landlord to provide written notice of the protections afforded by these provisions. The bill would prohibit the landlord from willfully harassing, intimidating, threatening, or retaliating against a commercial tenant with the intent to terminate the occupancy, and would subject the landlord to various damages if found by a court to have engaged in that behavior. The bill would also make a willful violation of these provisions an unlawful business practice and an act of unfair competition, subject to specified remedies and penalties. This bill would authorize an eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant, defined for the purposes of these provisions as a small business that operates primarily in California and is an eating or drinking establishment, place of entertainment, or performance venue that occupies commercial real property pursuant to a lease and that meets specified financially related criteria, to engage in good faith negotiations with its landlord in order to modify any rent or economic requirements. The bill would authorize an eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant (eligible tenant) to serve written notice on the landlord, affirming under the penalty of perjury, that the commercial tenant is an eligible tenant and stating what lease modifications the commercial tenant is seeking. By creating a new crime with regard to the notice being signed under the penalty of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also provide that if the eligible tenant and the landlord do not reach a mutually satisfactory agreement within a certain timeframe, the eligible tenant is authorized to terminate the lease, as provided. The bill would exclude publicly traded companies and affiliated companies from these provisions. The bill would make these provisions inoperative on December 31, 2021, or 2 months after the declared state of emergency ends, whichever is later. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 5. Noes 1.) (May 22).
Set for hearing May 22.
From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 8.
Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|02/06/20 - Introduced|
|03/12/20 - Amended Senate|
|03/25/20 - Amended Senate|
|05/13/20 - Amended Senate|
|05/29/20 - Amended Senate|
|No related documents.|
Data on Open States is updated nightly from the official website of the California State Legislature.
If you notice any inconsistencies with these official sources, feel free to file an issue.