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State of Emergency, Moratoriums, Price Gouging

With the daunting amount of news and information coming at you constantly it is impossible for any one person to keep up. Our team curates and alerts you to the "must have” information to ensure you are in the know. Having relevant, current information helps you to make the best decisions possible.

  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020 12:05 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    REMINDER - LA CITY NOTICE TO TENANTS DUE NO LATER THAN THIS THURSDAY - JUNE 18, 2020

    Self Storage Owners and Operators in the City of Los Angeles, 

    The Los Angeles self storage ordinance requires that operators provide notice of the ordinance to their tenants by June 18. The notice must be provided in English and Spanish.

    Click HERE for the mandatory notice in English and Spanish.

    Thank you, 

    Ross Hutchings, CAE
    Executive Director – California Self Storage Association
    5325 Elkhorn Blvd., # 283, Sacramento, CA 95842
    ross@californiaselfstorage.org
    888.CSSA.207 (888.277.2207) – toll-free office, 949.554.3292 – mobile


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:27 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Despite significant opposition from the self storage industry, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring self storage owners to defer rent if a tenant is unable to pay for a COVID-related reason and provides documentation to the owner no later than seven days after the rent is due. The deferral lasts until three months after the local emergency period. The ordinance also prohibits late fees on deferred rent and requires that owners provide notice of the ordinance to their tenants.

    We expect the Mayor to sign this ordinance soon. 

    CSSA strongly encourage you to consult with legal counsel before proceeding with lockouts or lien sales in the City of Los Angeles. 

    Additional Moratoriums & Restrictions

    In addition to the new Los Angeles Ordinance, we know of three other cities that have moratoriums or restrictions:

    • Ontario - Moratorium - specially mentions self storage 
    • Livermore - Moratorium (banned) self storage lien sales
    • Pasadena - Eviction Moratorium - "tenant" definition includes self storage 

    New ordinances are being drafted each week. We strongly encourage you to check with both your city and county HERE to see if any such ordinance or moratorium has been passed that would restrict you from lien process, late fees, or imposes repayment timelines.

    CSSA is working closely with SSA to track these ordinances as they arise and attempt to make our case for exempting self storage or challenging the validity with regards to the Self Storage Act. Current sentiment still remains in favor of those tenants who have been financially affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. 

    For more information and updates on Covid-19 restrictions and various articles for help in managing your business during these challenging times, please follow the information on the CSSA website CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION.


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:13 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    California Cities and Counties Eviction Moratoriums

    Governor Gavin Newsom issued an EXECUTIVE ORDER that authorizes local governments to pause evictions for tenants – both residential and commercial – when the basis for the eviction is non-payment of rent arising out of a substantial decrease in household or business income or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.

    It is the opinion of CSSA and SSA that neither California law nor the Governor’s order allows local governments to affect the lien rights of self storage operators. California’s self storage lien law is in a different part of the state code and is separate from the state’s eviction laws.

    Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that California operators review each LOCAL ORDER or ORDINANCE carefully – looking for all applicable city and county orders / ordinances – and determine the effect that each has on issues such as self storage lien sales, late fees, and unlawful detainer actions. Although some orders / ordinances have overlapping language, they often have significant, and occasionally subtle, differences such as definitions, repayment periods, and requirements for the tenant to claim the protection of the order / ordinance. We also strongly recommend consultation with experienced legal counsel when dealing with tenants who fail to pay in full. 

    CLICK HERE for California Cities and Counties Eviction Moratoriums

      


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:07 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Moratoriums on Commercial Late Fees, Liens, and Evictions

    As the coronavirus (Covid 19) spreads throughout the United States, several states and localities have enacted restrictions on foreclosures and evictions. Many of these orders that have been issued to date exclusively cover residential evictions and foreclosures. However, as the situation evolves, more states are expanding those restrictions to cover commercial evictions as well. Some of the commercial eviction or foreclosure moratoriums may prevent operators from conducting self storage liens sales, performing overlocks, or imposing late fees.

    Although self storage lien sales are not evictions in the usual sense of that word, the SSA urges all operators to exercise great caution if they operate in an area covered by a moratorium on commercial or non-residential evictions or foreclosures.

    First, self storage lien sales are a form of non-judicial foreclosure. Therefore, an order that imposes a foreclosure moratorium may apply to self storage lien sales. Second, the overall intent of many government restrictions at this time is to keep people at home as much as possible. It arguably frustrates the intent of the orders if a landlord creates a situation that forces a tenant to leave home for a non-essential purpose. Third, the orders are often hastily drafted and vague and do not define the term “eviction”, “foreclosure”, or other key terms in the orders. The overall intent, coupled with the vague wording, indicates that the term “eviction” or “foreclosure” is meant to cover any unilateral action by an operator that terminates a rental agreement. This certainly covers lien sales, even if the primary purpose of a lien sale is to recover unpaid rents.

    The volume of new orders issued daily makes it difficult to provide a comprehensive list of jurisdictions, especially local governments, that have enacted eviction or foreclosure moratoriums. Additionally, in the interest of space, we did not include local orders that affect only residential evictions or lawsuits filed to evict a tenant.

    California

    • Governor issued an order, issuing a statewide moratorium on residential evictions. 
    • Governor also issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to pause evictions for renters. The protection is in effect through May 31, 2020. Tenants are still obligated to pay rent, and landlords can still recover rent that is due. The order only applies to the imposition of limitations on evictions when the basis for the eviction is nonpayment of rent, or a foreclosure, arising out of a substantial decrease in household or business income (including, but not limited to, a substantial decrease in household income caused by layoffs or a reduction in the number of compensated hours of work, or a substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer  demand), or substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses; and the decrease in household or business income or the out-of-pocket medical expenses was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19, and is documented.
    • Evictions and foreclosures are suspended only as set forth by local governments. Many localities in California have imposed such restrictions on commercial leases. Additionally, many have restricted the ability to impose any late fees. A complete list of California orders is forthcoming.

    Late fees - If it does not violate your local order (see below) late fees may continue to be assessed as part of your normal business practice. However several operators have reported that they are assessing the late fee but giving their tenants a grace period before it is due.

    Lockouts, liens, auctions - We have heard form several operators that have put a halt on lockouts and/or lien notices/auctions for the month of April, yet others are still pressing forward. If you decide to move forward with auctions, you will need to hold them online as in-person auctions violate the non-gather order for the state of California. 

    Check your local order in place - Whether or not an operator is permitted to assess late fees, liens, lockouts or auctions depends on the orders in place in the city/county where your facility is located within the state of California. You must review your local orders in place, and then make a business decision depending on what is allowed. We also suggest you consult your attorney before making a decision. 

    Here is one link that might help you find your local order: https://www.covid19.ca.gov/state-local-resources/#top  

    Consider the optics - Before making a final determination, you might also want to consider the optics or how this looks to your community. You may want to consider some leniency if other businesses in your area are delaying payments to give those negatively affected by these restrictions, including being furloughed or loosing their job.

    Additional advice is given by Joe Doherty and Daniel Bryant from SSA:

    "Although self storage lien sales are not evictions in the usual sense of that word, the SSA urges all operators to exercise great caution if they operate in an area covered by a moratorium on commercial or non-residential evictions or foreclosures.

    First, self storage lien sales are a form of non-judicial foreclosure. Therefore, an order that imposes a foreclosure moratorium may apply to self storage lien sales. Second, the overall intent of many government restrictions at this time is to keep people at home as much as possible. It arguably frustrates the intent of the orders if a landlord creates a situation that forces a tenant to leave home for a non-essential purpose. Third, the orders are often hastily drafted and vague and do not define the term “eviction”, “foreclosure”, or other key terms in the orders. The overall intent, coupled with the vague wording, indicates that the term “eviction” or “foreclosure” is meant to cover any unilateral action by an operator that terminates a rental agreement. This certainly covers lien sales, even if the primary purpose of a lien sale is to recover unpaid rents."


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:06 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On April 7, 2020 the City of Ontario, California passed an eviction moratorium which expressly refers to storage unit auctions. CLICK HERE for a copy of the ordinance press release can be accessed Here The formal order will be made available to Members upon CSSA’s receipt of same.

    Carlos Kaslow, CA attorney and author of California (and many other states) lien laws made the following suggestion:

    "The city of Ontario recently put a hold on using the lien remedy and operators should know this and comply.  It might be helpful if owners put more time discussing delinquency problems with their customers.  There are a number of ways the parties can resolve a payment problem and the lien remedy is the most drastic. If a customer will be hopelessly behind on the rent in 2 or 3 months it might be in everyone's interest to make a deal.  For example, the tenant moves out and the owner waives rent.  If done early the cost to the owner is relatively low.  A tenant who is already behind two or three months may want to abandon property if the owner agrees to waive the outstanding rent. Now is a good time for owners be to looking for solutions other than the lien remedy, even in cities that have not taken Ontario's approach." 


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:01 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on April 4, 2020 expanding consumer protection against price gouging as California continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The order generally prohibits sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent. The order also gives additional tools to the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office, among others, to take action against price gougers.

    “This crisis has impacted every Californian and our normal way of life, and we are ensuring that all consumers are able to purchase what they need, at a fair price,” said Governor Newsom.

    A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:01 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on March 30, 2020 banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by COVID-19 through May 31, 2020. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of evictions by law enforcement or courts. It also requires tenants to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent due to COVID-19.

    The tenant would be required to retain documentation but not required to submit it to the landlord in advance. And the tenant would remain obligated to repay full rent in “a timely manner” and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. The order takes effect immediately, and provides immediate relief to tenants for whom rent is due on April 1st.

    Today’s action builds on Governor Newsom’s previous executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions for renters impacted by the pandemic. 

     A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and the text of the order can also be found here.


  • Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:38 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Thursday, March 19, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide Executive Order for people to stay at homeThe directive went into effect immediately. A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.   

    Notably, the Executive Order references the  guidance issued by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”  A copy of that memorandum can be found here.  In addition, the Order states  the Governor in consultation with CAL OES, may designate additional sectors as critical. 


California Self Storage Association

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California Self Storage Association
5325 Elkhorn Blvd., #283 
Sacramento, CA 95842

P: 888-CSSA-207 or 888-277-2207
F: 949-861-9425

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