Real Estate and Land Use

By: Jessica Cohen

This is a summary of current Washington State and Seattle governmental orders affecting commercial tenancies at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential tenancies are not addressed in this article.

Washington State: Under Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-19.6, commercial landlords in Washington State are prohibited from increasing (or threatening to increase) rent or the amount of any deposit on commercial rental property if the commercial tenant has been materially impacted by COVID-19, whether the tenant (i) is personally impacted and unable to work, (ii) the business was deemed a “non-essential” business pursuant to the Stay Home – Stay Healthy Proclamation 20-25, or (iii) the business lost staff or customers due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The prohibition on increasing rents does not apply if rent increases were in a lease agreement executed prior to February 29, 2020. These protections are in effect until June 30, 2021.

King County: The King County’s Sheriff’s Office announced on March 17, 2020, that it is “temporarily suspending the service and enforcement of evictions until further notice.” The sheriff’s letter implies that it applies to commercial, residential, and post-foreclosure evictions.

City of Seattle:

By: Allan E. Low and Anne Li

Update: This article was updated on January 19, 2021, to include that the commercial eviction moratorium went into effect on January 11, 2021. The bullet points featuring the four tiers of the commercial tenants, created by the Board Ordinance, were also updated to include that each tier’s full-time employee count is as of November 1, 2020.

On December 1, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a commercial eviction moratorium ordinance (the Board Ordinance), which Board Ordinance came into effect on January 11, 2021. When the Board Ordinance became effective, the mayor’s previous executive orders which impose a moratorium on commercial evictions (the Mayor’s Moratorium) terminated.

On March 23, 2020, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown issued a state-wide order, Executive Order No. 20-12, directing Oregonians to stay at home unless engaging in certain activities or working at certain businesses; most construction projects, including residential construction, may continue to operate. Read more.

On March 23, 2020, Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee, issued a state-wide order requiring all Washingtonians to stay at home unless engaging in essential activities or working in essential business services. Unless exempted, all non-essential businesses were required to cease operations, starting at midnight on March 25, 2020. This update addresses the extent to which the

Contractors can now find OMB- and agency-specific information and guidance related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) on a single government website:

The website has links to recent government guidance and memoranda, including the OMB’s March 20, 2020 memorandum to agencies concerning contract performance issues and emergency acquisition procedures related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The

California Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20 (order) on March 16, 2020, to assist Californians experiencing financial hardship. The order implements measures specifically aimed at helping those that have lost their source of income due to business closures or layoffs in the wake of COVID-19. The governor’s directives focus on freezing evictions and foreclosures through

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we are facing stressful and rapidly changing times trying to combat the pandemic. Our advice to clients is evolving with these changes and generally hinges on issue-specific language.

In this update, we prepared a list of real estate issues that employers, developers, landlords, tenants, and lenders may need

On March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic, seven Bay Area counties issued orders requiring residents to shelter in place and mandating closure of many businesses. These shelter-in-place orders exempt activities necessary for the construction of housing, provided social distancing practices are observed.
Services that support housing construction also may be