On March 19, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order directing:
“all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors….”
The order includes potential misdemeanor penalties for violating the restrictions, and raises the question of what this means for landlords and property managers that need to keep residential properties operational for the residents, as well as operating commercial properties that house other critical businesses.
The “commercial facilities sector” is one of the sixteen sectors identified in a Presidential Policy Directive and exempted from the order. This sector includes “Real Estate” like office and apartment buildings, condominiums, mixed use facilities, and self-storage facilities.
Like all Californians, landlords and property managers (and their employees) should implement remote work policies to comply with the order and help protect community health, but they should also expect to be able to continue to maintain their real estate assets and operations through in-office and on-site job performance “as needed to maintain continuity of operation,” using social distancing measures as much as possible.
Keep in mind that various “non-essential” tenant operations will nonetheless still be restricted by the Governor’s order and potentially also by local city and county emergency health orders.
California Executive Order N-33-20:
Executive Order N-33-20
Federal Critical Infrastucture Information:
Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19
Federal Commercial Facilities Sector Information:
Commercial Facilities Sector