Post-Pandemic Unlawful Detainers and Rent Moratoriums

Ever since the first business set up the first shop in someone else’s building, there has been a need to someday get them out. Unlawful detainer actions refer to the act of retaining possession of property without a legal right. In other words, tenants who (for whatever reason) just refuse to leave.

UDs can happen either on the residential or commercial sides of things and our own legal expert, Dean Sperling, has been dealing with both kinds.

The law makes a distinction between being a residential tenant by paying rent or the idea of a “tenancy at will,” which is living somewhere because the property owner said you could. Now, you might think getting someone out of your property is fairly straightforward, but not in these pandemic days where different cities and counties enforce rent moratoriums that benefit tenants. Sperling is currently working on a case where the owner had a tenant at will, passed away and the estate representative needed to sell the property in order to administer the estate.

“My client terminated the tenancy at will as he needed to sell the house,” said Sperling. “The court initially ruled against us on a motion then reversed on a subsequent motion and gave us the judgment.” Sperling continued, “Even with that, we have been working to get the local sheriff to evict the tenant, but due to covid illnesses the process has thus far taken months.”

Another Sperling case on the commercial side finds a business not operating for two years and not paying rent, but still occupying the space simply because they can.

“Unfortunately, there are too many people are taking advantage of tenant protections,” said Sperling.

Some cities and counties still have eviction moratoriums and protections for both residential and commercial tenancies and it’s crucial to abide by their provisions. While it’s important to not allow tenants to take advantage of the governmental restriction, where possible, Sperling advises landlords to work with tenants and create conditions that are mutually beneficial.

He says, “Many are trying to be honorable and are paying what they can now.”

Unlawful detainer matters will be big news as the overall economy pushes past the pandemic into some semblance of normalcy. But disputes are EVERYWHERE. And when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business including bankruptcies, landlord/tenant matters including unlawful detainers, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!