COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS MORATORIUM
COMMERCIAL EVICTION MORATORIUM RESOURCES
UPDATE: The Commercial Eviction Moratorium expired on September 30, 2021.
If you are a business that has been impacted by COVID-19 and have missed a rent payment, here are four things to know:
1. The commercial eviction moratorium ended on September 30, 2021.
2. If you are a business with less than 50 full-time employees you may have additional time to repay any missed rent.
3. You should document any COVID-19 hardship that kept you from paying any amount of rent since March of 2020.
4. Find more information and resources including FAQs, organizations that offer legal assistance, and mediation support below.
Jump to a section:
About the Commercial Eviction Moratorium
State law controls what San Francisco and all local governments can do with respect to laws governing commercial landlords and tenants. San Francisco has been able to limit commercial evictions due to the Governor's Executive Orders, which temporarily suspends state law. On June 11, 2021 the Governor issued Executive Order N-08-21, which extended the timeframe for protections stated in the previous Executive Orders through September 30, 2021. The Governor did not issue any further extensions prior to the September 30, 2021 termination date. Accordingly, the Moratorium Period began on March 16, 2020, and ended on September 30, 2021.
San Francisco’s Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance
Since March 2020, the moratorium has been in place and it prohibits commercial evictions because of nonpayment due to COVID-19. It applies to any rent that was due from March 18, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
The Board of Supervisors enacted the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance, and this continues San Francisco’s efforts to prevent the eviction of businesses unable to pay rent during the current local emergency due to financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTE: The moratorium does not waive the obligation to pay this missed rent. See the detailed guidance on the moratorium for tenants and landlords provided by OEWD.
9/27/21 Update: Mayor Breed signed an amendment to the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance on September 24, 2021, which provides certain commercial tenants with 50 to 99 employees up to six months after the moratorium expires to repay any missed rent. This amendment will not go into effect until October 24, 2021. Learn more about this amendment at the Board of Supervisors Legislative Research Center.
8/4/21 Update: Mayor Breed signed an amendment to the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance on August 4, 2021, which provides certain commercial tenants with a rebuttable presumption it may raise during court proceedings. This amendment will not go into effect until September 2, 2021. Learn more about this amendment at the Board of Supervisors Legislative Research Center.
What should I do if I’m unable to pay my rent?
Your landlord may not evict for nonpayment of rent due during the moratorium which ended on September 30, 2021. You and your landlord should continue to use this time to develop a payment plan, which may address issues such as how much of the back rent the tenant must repay, and on what schedule.
What if I can’t pay my missed rent during the moratorium?
If you’re unable to pay because of COVID-19 and have not yet agreed to a payment plan with your landlord, you may still have time to repay any missed rent after the moratorium expires. Additionally, if you are a business with fewer than 10 employees, you have the option to terminate your lease upon providing a 30 days written notice to your landlord. You must do so before September 30, 2021 in order to avoid any termination penalty that may exist in the lease. Please note that you are still obligated to pay any rent that was due during the moratorium period and the landlord still has the ability to recover this missed rent.
Can I get even more time to pay my missed rent?
Yes. If you are a business with 49 or fewer employees, you may have additional time to repay any missed rent from March 18, 2020 to September 30, 2021. Under the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance, a business is provided a forbearance period, or repayment period, based on the number of employees your business had as of November 1, 2020. Please refer to the following table to see how much additional time you have:
✺ A commercial tenant and/or subtenant
✺ Registered to do business in San Francisco
✺ Annual gross receipts at or below $25M
Guides & FAQ
Read our detailed guidance with explanations, examples, and definitions for the Commercial Eviction Protections Ordinance.
Read answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the moratorium. If you have more questions, email Commercial.Evictions@sfgov.org.
Check back soon.
Note: The following section provides some resources from our external partners to support efforts in encouraging both landlords and businesses to develop repayment plans that can prevent displacement. The materials provided do not constitute legal advice and are for informational purposes only. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.
Negotiating and Developing Repayment Plans
✺ Presentation - Commercial Lease Negotiation Tactics - Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
✺ Repayment Plan Template - Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (click to download a template on MS Word)
✺ Tenant Letter to Landlord Template - Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (click to download a template on MS Word)
✺ Tenant-Landlord Issue Fact Sheet - San Francisco Bar Association Small Business
✺ Best Practices for Communicating with Landlord or Property Owner - Conflict Intervention Service
✺ Best Practices for Successful Lease Renewal and Rent Repayment - Conflict Intervention Service
✺ SFMade Rent Relief Negotiating Tactics
✺ Lease Negotiation Calculator (requires Microsoft Excel or spreadsheet software)
✺ Presentation - Tácticas de negociación de contratos de arrendamiento comercial para pequeñas empresas - MEDA SF
✺ Ejemplo Terminación anticipada del Contrato de Arrendamiento
✺ Formato de Carta para que una pequeña empresa pueda negociar con el Arrendador para reducir y/o diferir el pago de renta
The City partners with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) to help San Francisco small businesses at risk of displacement with lease review and negotiation and related services. LSE provides free legal services, as well as workshops and webinars, for businesses that may face displacement or have questions about their lease. Enroll here or call/email 415-543-9444 x217, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City also partners with the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and its Conflict Intervention Service (CIS) to facilitate mediation between a business and its landlord. CIS works to resolve disputes and provide an outcome that avoids a commercial eviction and that supports the needs of a commercial landlord. BASF also provides referrals to attorneys through its Lawyer Referral Program Services (LRIS) if the need for further legal representation arises. For more information on the Conflict Intervention Service and Lawyer Referral Program Services, please visit the following website here or call/email 415-782-8940, email@example.com.
Need Additional Help?
✺ If you still have questions or need information about other resources, contact our Small Business Assistance Center at 415-554-6134 or firstname.lastname@example.org
✺ For all other questions, please contact Commercial.Evictions@sfgov.org