Photo of Pamela Westhoff

Pamela Westhoff is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

City of Los Angeles apartment owners recently lost their bid in Federal Court to halt the application of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s eviction moratorium[1] and rent freeze ordinance[2] (the “City Moratorium”). Senior United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson ruled on November 13, 2020 that the apartment owners had failed to show “irreparable harm” because (a) there was no immediate threat of foreclosure, and (b) the City Moratorium appeared to be “imminently reasonable” in the context of the unprecedented pandemic.[3]

Continue Reading Federal Judge Blocks Eviction Moratorium Challenge by Los Angeles Apartment Owners

Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (“L.A. Public Health”) announced that all outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries and wineries will be restricted, effective November 25, 2020 at 10:00 p.m., while take-out, drive thru, and delivery services may continue (“Order”).
Continue Reading Los Angeles County Restricts In-Person Dining Due to Surge in COVID-19 Cases

The Statewide Executive Order issued by Governor Newsom this evening is set forth here: https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf

The Order includes the following directives:

  • All State residents directed to heed current State public health directives, found here: https://covid19.ca.gov/
  • All individuals living in State of California directed to stay at home or at their place of residence EXCEPT AS NEEDED TO MAINTAIN CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS OF THE FEDERAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS OUTLINED HERE: https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508c.pdf
  • The Order states that government has identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems and supply chains are considered vital to the US; destruction would have debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety or combination of above.  See diagram below for enumerated sectors.
  • Californians may leave their places of residence to perform the enumerated functions including those whose functions or work activities are needed to maintain continuity of the enumerated critical sectors.
  • Residents are advised to consider local emergency orders which may have more restrictive measures for non-critical sectors.
  • Any time residents must leave their homes they must practice social distancing including at work.


Continue Reading California Statewide Stay at Home Order March 19, 2020

Well, it’s been quite a week for all of us! Our national real estate team has compiled the top COVID-19 questions we received from our clients. The following is a summary of our guidance and suggested action items:
Continue Reading Commercial Real Estate Tips of the Week: Practical Answers from Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus Task Force

Under current California law, commercial real property owners are required to state in every lease agreement whether the property leased has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (“CASp”) and, if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards. [California Civil Code Section 1938].  Effective immediately, additional commercial lease accessibility disclosures are required.
Continue Reading Commercial Lease Alert: New Access Law Disclosure Requirements In Leases Effective January 1, 2017

In connection with a commercial lease with an international company, a commercial landlord is often asked to accept U.S.-based subsidiary as the tenant entity.  The U.S. subsidiary often does not have independent financials or credit history, leading the landlord to request additional lease security.  In this context, the landlord may be offered a guaranty from a foreign-based parent company.  Although it may seem prudent to accept a guaranty from an international entity with substantial assets, these guaranties present certain challenges.  Even if the foreign guarantor has significant financial strength, a guaranty may prove worthless if the landlord cannot collect on a judgment against the guarantor.  
Continue Reading Commercial Lease Guaranties From Foreign Entities: What You Need to Know to Safeguard Your Security

Effective January 1, 2015, California law requires real estate brokers and agents to provide their clients and prospective clients with specific new disclosures, including (1) an initial disclosure form regarding the nature of agency relationships, which is typically provided at the time a listing agreement is entered into; and (2) an additional disclosure form to be presented in connection with a specific lease or purchase transaction.  Owners/landlords may elect at their option not to execute the initial disclosure form.
Continue Reading Important Alert for Commercial Owners/Landlords and Brokers/Agents: Changes to California Dual Agency Disclosure Laws Effective January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, commercial landlords are prohibited from entering into leases or other occupancy agreements that include any unreasonable restriction or prohibition on the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station (“EV Station”) in a parking space associated with the commercial property.  AB 2265 was enacted in an effort to promote, encourage and remove obstacles to the use of EV Stations, and effective January 1, 2015, the bill became law with the addition of Section 1952.7 to the California Civil Code.  This new law invalidates any term in a commercial lease or lease amendment which adversely affects the installation of EV Stations.
Continue Reading New Legislative Requirements For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations At California Commercial Properties

Many commercial property owners have approached us with questions about missing data protocols, how to properly comply with AB 1103 (and the consequences of non-compliance) and what buildings are affected.  Here is what you need to know.
Continue Reading Missing Data Protocols Under AB1103 Energy Use Disclosure Rule And Other Important Facts You Need To Know

What You Need to Know:

On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent energy-saving measures for plumbing, electrical, lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It is expected that the implementation of these updated Title 24 regulations will result in increased compliance costs in the completion of tenant improvements in commercial buildings. The implications for sellers, buyers, owners and tenants of commercial real estate include the need to update lease forms to take into account the practical impact of these regulations on each transaction and each material work of construction.


Continue Reading Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014