The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1068 as an urgency ordinance on April 14, 2020, that temporarily prohibits the eviction of small businesses and nonprofits in Menlo Park impacted by COVID-19. It prevents landlords from evicting qualifying tenants for nonpayment of rent through May 31, 2020.
Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits (including churches) are those with less than $2,500,000 in gross receipts in 2019. The ordinance, which expires May 31, 2020, intends to compliment to federal legislation and countywide efforts to support small businesses. Businesses suffering financial hardship due to the pandemic are encouraged to visit menlopark.org/businessresources.
The small business tenant eviction moratorium requires tenants to pay back rent 90 days after the ordinance ends, but tenants can request another 90-day extension. It does not relieve tenants of liability for unpaid rent. Tenants, if able, are encouraged to continue to make full or partial monthly rent payments while the urgency ordinance remains in effect.
The ordinance also provides for landlords to seek a hardship waiver by submitting financial statements to the City Manager. Factors used in evaluating the waiver request include:
Will rent deferral impact landlord’s ability to pay mortgage/property tax/insurance (carrying costs) due during deferral periods?
Does landlord have other revenue/assets available to pay carrying costs during rent deferral periods?
Has landlord taken steps to request deferral of any carrying costs? If so what agreements have been reached?
What percentage of tenants in building are seeking deferrals and how does that impact ability to pay carrying costs?
Would the rent deferral effectuate an unconstitutional taking of property or otherwise have an unconstitutional application to the property