Costa Mesa Lifts Eviction Moratorium for Commercial Tenants 

Costa Mesa Lifts Eviction Moratorium for Commercial Tenants 
Commercial real estate properties sit on the market in Costa Mesa, Calif., on April 9, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Jack Bradley

Costa Mesa has lifted its commercial eviction ban, meaning tenants previously protected under the moratorium have until Aug. 4 to pay their past due rent in full.

Costa Mesa city council unanimously approved to end the eviction moratorium during an April 6 meeting, “because of the potential financial inequity and impact to the city’s  economy.”

The urgency ordinance takes effect immediately and repeals the temporary moratorium on the eviction of commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent due to the impacts of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

Council’s decision was prompted by a need to aid commercial landlords who were suffering financially.

Many small businesses have access to federal, state, and local funding, which can help aid the costs of rent; however, commercial landlords do not have such support.

“Commercial landlords are unlikely to be able to take advantage of these monies, and as such will continue to suffer from the economic downturn to a greater extent and for a longer period if their tenants continue to be able to withhold rent under the moratorium,” the ordinance said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide moratorium on commercial and residential structure in March 2020, and recently extended it until June 30 with respect to commercial evictions only.

Costa Mesa adopted its ordinance to establish a temporary moratorium last April.

“However, because of the recent availability of federal, state, and local programs to assist the small businesses that make up the majority of commercial tenants in the city, such businesses are in a better position to repay past due rent than they were when the moratorium was enacted,” the ordinance said.

The funding for the small businesses comes from The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which provided $2 billion for grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Costa Mesa has likewise implemented multiple programs to provide grants to smalls businesses, the ordinance said.

Tenants are required to pay their past due rent in full “as soon as possible,” and no later than 120 days, or Aug. 4, unless parties agree otherwise in writing.

Landlords cannot charge for late fees for rent that is delayed.