Burbank’s ordinance prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic expired this week, leaving a similar state measure to protect residential renters — though not commercial tenants.
However, following the recommendation of City Attorney Amy Albano, the City Council is scheduled to consider an extension of the ordinance to cover commercial renters during its next meeting on Tuesday. If passed, it would retroactively cover the gap between local ordinances.
“It would sunset as to residential and it could move forward and still keep protecting commercial tenants as it’s written,” Albano explained to the council at a meeting this week.
The state measure, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Aug. 31, keeps landlords from evicting residential renters for not paying rent between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. Tenants seeking protection under the law must declare to the landlord that they cannot pay rent due to the pandemic, and must also pay 25% of the rent due between Sept. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31.
And unlike the municipal ordinance, the state law, Assembly Bill 3088, does not contain any protections for commercial renters. Furthermore, Newsom’s executive order that allowed local governments to provide their own eviction ordinances was also scheduled to end Wednesday, meaning that Burbank would not have been able to supplement the state law with protections for commercial renters.
But Newsom extended that order on Sept. 23, opening the door for Burbank to consider reviving its ordinance.
Regardless of the council’s decision next week, both residential and commercial renters have a deferment of payment under the municipal ordinance; both kinds of tenants have until March 31, 2021, to pay the rent they owe. After that, landlords can sue their tenants or charge late fees.
Neither the state nor the local policy requires landlords to forgive their tenants’ rent.