SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – Today a manager in San Francisco is introducing laws that, if approved, would give security rent to thousands of businesses shut down during the pandemic.
“If they shut down completely, they can’t pay that rent,” said Dean Preston, San Francisco supervisor.
For the past 12 years, Ysa Mohamath has been busy with a hair clipper. Now he’s mostly waiting for customers.
“I get like a customer or two a day and still pay the rent in full,” said Ysa Mohamath, owner of YSA Barbershop.
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In the back of his mind he has to pay secured rent and electricity bills for months.
“Closed for the first time in almost seven months,” said Mohamath. “I still paid the rent in full for the first 3 months, but after 3 months the landlord gave me a break, a discount. We’re open again and the business is dying. So I don’t have enough money to pay for the rent to pay. but I don’t want to close the deal. “
Today supervisor Dean Preston is enacting legislation that could pardon secured rent to companies like Ysa’s hair salon.
“The COVID pandemic was a situation that resulted in health contracts that made it impossible for these companies to be open and thwarted the very purpose of those contracts,” Preston said.
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According to the latest data from San Francisco, companies owe up to $ 400 million in rent. How many companies will this legislation help?
“We are working on a more accurate number of companies affected,” said Preston.
The legislation targets companies that had gross revenues of $ 25 million or less and had to close their doors completely to comply with health and safety regulations.
Today I am introducing laws to erase rental debt for neighborhood businesses that have closed due to a pandemic. This appears to be the first legislation of its kind in the nation. https://t.co/q37MfA8d2A
– Dean Preston (@DeanPreston) May 25, 2021
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“Except for office space,” said Preston. “There are very few offices that would qualify. This applies to certain non-profit organizations. Even if a company has a specific contract provision that regulates exactly this situation, which in the event of a pandemic or the like says that the rent is still owed. “
Hans Hansson, president of Starboard Commercial Real Estate, represents between 60 and 70 independent landlords in San Francisco and says help has to be fair.
“If the supervisor Preston said I want to provide relief for both sides, it would be logical to give the landlord property tax relief to get rent relief, which should certainly be considered,” said Hansson.
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Supervisor Preston said they were open to mortgage relief for landlords.
“We’ll hear from the landlords, I’m sure,” said Preston. “If there are ways to mitigate the impact, our office is open to it. We don’t control the mortgage payment. If there is a way to legislate on mortgage relief, we are open to it.”
Hansson says this legislation, if approved, will lead to lawsuits.
“Force majeure, when that happens, it will frankly open the flood gates for the landlords who are suing the city and saying you forced force majeure on me,” Hansson said. “You have now harmed me and I want a refund. We live on property tax as a city. If I turn around and lose my income, I go to the appraiser’s office first and try to lower my taxes.”
The supervisor said that prosecutors reviewed the legislation and said, “It is in line with the law,” adding, “I don’t think they have any reason to sue and win.”
The first vote in committee will take place in a month. With the approval of the majority of the Board of Directors, this law could come into force in July.
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