City repeals moratorium on commercial rental evictions

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The City Council this week unanimously adopted an urgency ordinance to repeal the moratorium on evictions of commercial renters. The council discussed the issue at a previous meeting.

To pass, the urgency ordinance required at least four council members to vote to approve the ordinance.

Technically, this week’s urgency ordinance repealed an April 2020 urgency ordinance that imposed the moratorium.

On April 7, 2020 as a part of the City’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance that imposed a moratorium on evictions of commercial tenants in the City who could demonstrate a financial hardship and inability to pay rent as a result of COVID-19,” wrote City Attorney Craig Steele in his report to the council.

“On September 30, 2021 the legal landscape will change with regard to eviction moratorium ordinances as the Governor’s Executive Order which permitted cities to provide this protection will expire and legislation regarding residential evictions takes effect,” Steele wrote in the Monday, Sept. 27 report.

“On the commercial side, the City has not been made aware of significant, unresolved, COVID-related issues between landlords and tenants in the City,” Steele wrote.

“In many cases, reports from various parts of Southern California indicate that landlords and tenants generally have worked out rent issues on a case-by-case basis,” Steele wrote.

“Without evidence that the commercial eviction moratorium remains necessary in Seal Beach and to avoid confusion, the City Council directed staff to prepare a repeal of the commercial moratorium,” Steele wrote.

“Tenants would have six months to pay back rent if they complied with the requirements of the ordinance prior to its repeal,” Steele wrote.

According to Steele, the moratorium on residential evictions remains under review.

City repeals moratorium on commercial rental evictions