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LA Businesses Are Safe From Evictions Through The End Of March

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A deserted restaurant in Los Angeles on March 12, 2020. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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Commercial tenants will not be evicted if they cannot pay their rent this month, Mayor Garcetti announced yesterday.

“Angelenos who own businesses in our city deserve peace of mind,” said Mayor Garcetti in a press release. “The moratorium will help ease some of the deepest concerns while we get through this crisis together.”

But for small business owners who have already paid rent this month, the announcement was not helpful.

Sam Moaven owns Frame 2000 in Venice and says his rent is not due until April. He told me:

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“Our politicians are not connected to reality. I mean, what good does it do?”

The ban on evictions is likely to be extended, as necessary, throughout the emergency, according to the mayor's office.

Commercial landlords are now worried about how they can afford their monthly expenses without rent coming in: mortgage payments, insurance, taxes and maintenance.

“It sets up a system where people who have worked hard and saved and been able to afford these properties and taken the risk with the investment, they’re the ones going to be punished by this,” said Donegan McCuaig, a broker for DTLA Real Estate who represents commercial building owners.

McCuaig told me many of his clients recently bought property in hot areas, like downtown L.A., and have high mortgage payments to worry about.

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