By Paige Rabatin & John Archer

Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-08D Wednesday, April 1, seeking to provide assistance for small businesses with mortgage and rent payments. The Supreme Court of Ohio previously provided guidance to local courts to temporarily continue eviction filings, pending eviction proceedings, scheduled move-outs and the execution of foreclosure judgments. At the federal level under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, many residential properties have had a temporary suspension period with regard to evictions and foreclosures. Governor DeWine attempts to expand coverage and avoid any additional destabilization to the local economy. The Order also recognizes that other states have taken measures to protect their businesses from foreclosures and evictions and seeks to prevent competitive disadvantage for Ohio businesses.

Governor DeWine made three specific requests to accomplish these goals:

  • Landlords suspend rental payments for small business commercial tenants in Ohio that are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic for at least 90 days without penalty;
  • Landlords temporarily suspend evictions of small business commercial tenants in Ohio for at least 90 days; and
  • Lenders provide commercial real estate borrowers with a commercial mortgage loan for properties in Ohio and an opportunity for a forbearance for at least 90 days for said mortgage as a result of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Order emphasizes that these payments are suspended, not negated. The forbearance period is meant to provide a pause and allow commercial real estate borrowers and lenders to work towards sensible solutions.