Facing a recall election, Governor Newsom has called for California to pay all of the rent debt that has amassed during the pandemic. We'll believe it when we see it.
Thus far, rental assistance programs have been dysfunctional and slow, with a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars allocated making their way to cash-strapped rental property owners.
For landlords to capture the opportunity to participate in these programs, they were supposed to serve a notice informing tenants of their rights by February 28, but we want any sluggish clients to make a good faith effort and belatedly serve the notice now. If the state and local programs are taking time in disbursing funds, landlords should be given some latitude in meeting their obligations.
The consensus is that rent prices will no longer plummet, but when they will rise again or return to pre-pandemic levels is open for debate. As workers and students return to the Bay Area, there will be upward pressure on rent but we are not optimistic that the needle will tick up any time soon.
It has been saddening to see a glut of empty storefronts. We feel the pain of business owners who have been ordered to shut down or reduce hours of operation but the question now is who will bear the brunt of this hardship.
The pandemic has not discriminated against commercial landlords or their tenants and so we take exception to a drastic proposal that would erase all rent debt for San Francisco merchants.
Thanks for your continued engagement, please remain safe, and certainly call upon us with any questions.