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Small Business COVID-19 Relief: Governor Requests 90 Day Pause on Rent/Mortgage Payments

On April 1st Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-08D to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 with mortgage and rent payments. Invoking his police powers, the Governor asked lenders and landlords to work with small businesses, calling for a 90 day pause on payments in hopes of avoiding foreclosures. Specifically, he requested the following relief:

  • That landlords of small business commercial tenants suspend rent payments for 90 days for tenants;

  • That landlords of small business commercial tenants forbear evictions for 90 days for tenants; and

  • That lenders to commercial real estate owners forbear mortgage payments for 90 days for borrowers.

Importantly, the Order only applies to those affected by COVID-19 and does not forgive rent payments, but rather asks for a 90 day pause. Nothing in the Order prevents landlords and lenders from collecting at a later time. Additionally, the Order is a "request" to landlords and lenders. Therefore, it is not clear what enforcement mechanisms are available and what consequences, if any, may be imposed on landlords and lenders who choose not to comply with the Governor's requests.

The full Order can be read here: Executive Order 2020-08D.

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