Landlords and Tenants Enter Peace Talks

Originally Published : April 28, 2020

Landlords and Tenants Commence. Historic Peace Talks!

Dear HL Clients,

The Camp David peace talks commenced today as Landlords and Tenants gathered for the Peace on the Lower East webinar hosted by me.  It was an open, honest and illuminating conversation that exposed the minds of a retail landlord and restaurant tenant and gave us insight into how they are thinking about various aspects of  leases and their relationship with one another during the crisis.

We learned about landlords, mortgages, their banking relationships and what matters to them in a tenant relationship.  We came up with some interesting percentage rent scenarios and discussed some effective ways to present offers to landlords.

Landlords got to hear about what life is like as a restaurant owner these days, what kind of margins they work with and all the other business headaches that make up the life of a NYC restaurateur.

Both sides talked through ways to work together to get to the other side and all-in-all it was a good first step to peace.

Then, I went to check my emails and, right on cue, multiple landlords telling my clients that they will not abate the rent right now and threatening them with default notices and eviction if they don’t pay up and how dare they even propose an abatement!

Already flare ups from the hardcore separatists!  The peace process is a bumpy road but we will stay the course.

 Joey Regs Says:

Round 2 of loan approvals is under way.  At 10:30 AM yesterday, the SBA was going to open the proverbial doors to all banks and declare that they were open for business.  At 10:30 AM yesterday, the SBA site crashed.  You can’t make this shit up, people.

Some intel that we’ve been able to gather over the first 24 hours of round 2: 

  • Some big banks (Chase specifically) is sending out one wave of approval emails per day (towards end of business day).  So, don’t be nervous that you haven’t heard all day – you were never going to.  If you don’t get an email tonight though, you’ll know you weren’t filled yet, and cross your fingers for tomorrow.  And we’ll keep playing that game until pot #2 is empty.
  • Some banks have rolled the promissory note certifications into the actual application itself, while others have not.  The ones that have will send you an approval email; then you’ll see money in your account a few days later.  The ones that haven’t will be sending you this documentation post-approval, but pre-funding.  It’s REALLY important that you review those documents before signing.  Not that any of the agreement will be negotiable (it’s very much take it or leave it as is), but you MUST be aware of your obligations and what you are actually agreeing to.
  • Similarly to Round 1, we’re seeing much quicker action from the smaller, neighborhood and community banks.  The good news: we’ve received tons of approvals thus far.  The bad news: they’ve almost run through their entire allotment of $$$$. 
  • In an effort to promote parity, the SBA is limiting each bank to a certain number of application submissions per day.  This is actually fair, and it’s helping to manage the SBA workload.  However, when you have a bank that has 300,000 “approvable” applications, and you tell them that they are only allowed to submit 8,000 per day, you’re going to have tons of disappointed applicants.
  • The SBA keeps issuing new guidance and new FAQs, but they are just refusing to answer the true burning questions about forgiveness.  The banks haven’t received any of this info either.  They have gone well beyond disappointing, embarrassing and irresponsible at this point. And they’re steadily approaching downright despicable.

 Joey Regs out.


Folks, did you call or email your Council Member? They need to hear from us NOW!  If I didn’t think it  would make a difference, I wouldn’t ask you to do it.

You can sign this petition put together by Andrew Ridgie of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.  Just click on it and it will draft you an email and it will then send to your particular Council Member:

Here is the text in the email so you know what you’re getting into:

The NYC restaurant and nightlife industry are in crisis due to COVID-19 and we need your urgent support. As the operator of a business in your district, I URGE you to SPONSOR and PASS the following critical legislation that will support small businesses in your district, giving us a fighting chance to survive: Int.1932 that prohibits the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases related to COVID-10 so New Yorkers don’t lose their personal assets in addition to their businesses, Int. 1908-A that caps excessive third-party delivery fees restaurants pay at 10%, and Int. 1916 which waives (or refunds) expensive sidewalk café fees in 2020. In all, I urge you to: 

Please SUPPORT: Int. 1896, Int. 1897, Int. 1898, Int. 1907, Int. 1908-A, Int. 1914, Int. 1916 and Int. 1932 

I am also asking you to Please OPPOSE:  Int. 1846, Int. 1895 and Int. 1921 – while well intentioned, these bills  create unnecessary new regulatory burdens on small businesses at a time they can least afford it.

Thank you for your consideration and support of neighborhood small businesses during the crisis. 

In the words of John F. Kennedy: “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures”.

And from the other side of the aisle, Ronald Reagan: Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. 

Peace to all,