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Do Eviction Moratoriums Apply To Commercial Properties?

Romario Conrado
Romario Conrado Student, UC Berkeley
Romario is in his early 20's and enjoys swimming as well as reading first-person political narratives.
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    Eli Digital Creative from Pixabay
eviction moratoriums commercial properties
Across the country, people renting apartments and other types of housing are having trouble making their monthly payments. 

But people who rent commercial space are also in trouble, especially if that space was used to house their businesses. In Nevada, for example, landlords can start evicting commercial tenants on July 1. 

Here is a comprehensive outline of how eviction moratoriums apply to commercial properties in each of the ten most populous states.

What’s considered a commercial property?

Commercial property is land or a building used to generate a profit. 

A local liquor store, retail outlet, medical center are examples of commercial properties. 

Some multifamily housing buildings are also considered commercial property. This means that some units are occupied by residents, and other space in the same building is used for commercial property.

One thing that's confusing about eviction moratoriums is that they place an emphasis on property used as housing. Mixed-use buildings could be considered residential, and therefore, subject to more protections, than buildings that are entirely commercial. 

What’s an eviction moratorium?

An eviction is the process of removing a tenant from a property. Evictions can be related to lack of proper rent payments, a breaking of lease agreements, damage to property or other concerns. 

Eviction laws vary by state. But regardless of where an eviction is happening, a landlord cannot just say, "Get out." The process involves notices, court proceedings and in some cases, law enforcement. A general overview of each state’s eviction laws can be found here.

A moratorium on evictions means a temporary prohibition of removing people from their rentals – whether they are commercial or residential units. 

As Covid-19 spreads, many states issued eviction moratoriums for residential properties. Most are less concerned about commercial properties.  Here are what some states have said about commercial properties, and the Coronavirus. 

California

Commercial tenants cannot be evicted until July 28th, 2020. 

The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, issued an Executive Order that suspended all evictions in the state if the eviction is related to non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 related loss of income until July 28th, 2020.

Florida

Commercial tenants cannot be evicted if non-payment of rent is the issue until July 1st, 2020.

Georgia

Commercial tenants could be evicted as of June 12th, 2020. 

Illinois

The state’s governor, J.B. Pritzker, originally only issued a moratorium on residential evictions but later updated it to include all evictions, even commercial. He has since extended these moratoriums

Michigan

Commercial tenants can be evicted unless they are using their property for residential purposes.

New York

Commercial tenants can be evicted as of June 20th, 2020. 

North Carolina

Commercial tenants can be evicted as of June 20th, 2020. 

Ohio

Commercial tenant evictions started June 30th, 2020. 

The state’s governor, Mike DeWine, issued an Executive Order that requested all commercial landlords suspend evictions and rent payments for small business tenants.

Pennsylvania

Commercial tenants cannot be evicted until July 10th, 2020. 

The state’s governor, Tom Wolf, specified in his Executive Order that this moratorium only applies to tenants who have either not paid rent or are staying beyond their lease’s end date. All other lease defaults can result in eviction.

Texas

Commercial tenants can be evicted. The state’s Supreme Court issued an order expiring the state’s original moratorium. While eviction proceedings are now underway, plaintiffs must submit a sworn petition that the property is not included in the CARES Act’s moratorium on evictions. Specifics on the CARES Act’s covered properties can be found here. 

If you rent a commercial space and are threatened with eviction, you may want to reach us to us to chat.
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