Conducting Business While Sheltered In Place: FAQs

Published Wednesday, July 15, 2020



Where can I find the latest guidance of how to operate under the various state and local orders?


Are home moves and moving companies allowed?
Moves are also allowed under the following circumstances:

  • Moving companies may continue to assist with necessary residential moves under this Order, since maintaining an available housing supply and keeping people sheltered is essential to the health and safety of the public. Moving companies may also continue to assist with necessary commercial moves that ensure essential businesses as defined under the Order may continue operating. Non-essential residential or commercial moves, as well as any moves for non-essential businesses, should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission.


What are Essential Businesses?

  • Healthcare Operations and businesses that operate, maintain, or repair Essential Infrastructure;
  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of unprepared food, canned food, dry goods, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, as well as hygienic products and household consumer products necessary for personal hygiene or the habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences. The businesses included in this subparagraph (ii) include establishments that sell multiple categories of products provided that they sell a significant amount of essential products identified in this subparagraph, such as liquor stores that also sell a significant amount of food.
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  • Construction, but only as permitted under the State Shelter Order and only pursuant to the Construction Safety Protocols listed in Appendices B1 and B2 and incorporated into the Order by reference. Public works projects shall also be subject to Appendices B1 and B2, except if other protocols are specified by the Health Officer;
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  • Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair (including, but not limited to, for cars, trucks, motorcycles and motorized scooters), and automotive dealerships, but only for the purpose of providing auto-supply and auto-repair services. This subparagraph (vii) does not restrict the on-line purchase of automobiles if they are delivered to a residence or Essential Business;
  • Bicycle repair and supply shops;
  • Banks and related financial institutions;
  • Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence);
  • Hardware stores;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and/or operation of residences and Essential Businesses;
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  • Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, or as allowed under subparagraph xxvi, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  • Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  • Funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematoriums, to the extent necessary for the transport, preparation, or processing of bodies or remains;
  • Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, but only to the extent that they support or supply these Essential Businesses. This exemption shall not be used as a basis for engaging in sales to the general public from retail storefronts;
  • Businesses that have the primary function of shipping or delivering groceries, food, or other goods directly to residences or businesses. This exemption shall not be used to allow for manufacturing or assembly of non-essential products or for other functions besides those necessary to the delivery operation;
  • Airlines, taxis, rental car companies, rideshare services (including shared bicycles and scooters), and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, children, and pets;
  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  • Professional services, such as legal, notary, or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with non-elective, legally required activities or in relation to death or incapacity;
  • Services to assist individuals in finding employment with Essential Businesses;
  • Moving services that facilitate residential or commercial moves that are allowed under this Order; and
  • Childcare establishments, summer camps, and other educational or recreational institutions or programs providing care or supervision for children of all ages that enable owners, employees, volunteers, and contractors for Essential Businesses, Essential Governmental Functions, Outdoor Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations to work as allowed under this Order. To the extent possible, these operations must comply with the following conditions:
    • They must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    • Children shall not change from one group to another.
    • If more than one group of children is at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    • Providers or educators shall remain solely with one group of children.
  • The Health Officer will carefully monitor the changing public health situation as well as any changes to the State Shelter Order. In the event that the State relaxes restrictions on childcare and related institutions and programs, the Health Officer will consider whether to similarly relax the restrictions imposed by this Order.



What is The State Guidance for Real Estate?


Are Short Term Rentals Allowed?

Marin County has banned short term rentals and limited their use solely to persons involved in the COVID-19 response. The order is in effect through May 31, 2020, and may be extended further if needed. Short term rentals must cease operations and services except to provide lodging for:

  • Not for vacationing purposes. Short-term lodging including short-term rentals, hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, may continue for the limited purposes of either (1) COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, including measures to protect homeless populations (examples include: isolation and quarantine or the housing of displaced persons); (2) housing workers performing essential business activities and essential government functions within the County; or (3) housing individuals staying overnight in Marin to perform the essential activity of caring for the health and safety needs of a family member.


What Businesses Can Be Open?

  • "Essential businesses” and “outdoor businesses” may keep their facilities open and continue providing their services and products to the public. Employees may leave home to go to these jobs. But all businesses, including essential and outdoor ones, are required to maximize the number of employees working from home and bring in only those employees who can’t carry out their job duties from home. Businesses that are not “essential businesses” or “outdoor businesses,” as those terms are defined in the Order, must cease all activities at their facilities within the County, except to provide minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of a business’s inventory, keeping the business site safe and secure, ensuring that employees are able to work remotely, or providing for the delivery of existing inventory to residences or businesses. Minimum basic operations does not include providing curbside pickup. Employees may otherwise work from home.

Where Can I Find Information and Guidance About Managing Listings During Shelter in Place from BAREIS?

  • Find information and resources about how BAREIS can help you through this time on their Resources Page.


Are Title Companies Open?

  • Yes, many title companies are open, although staff may be working remotely.

Is the Marin County Recorder’s Office Open?

  • Many of the Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s services can be accessed online. In addition, they have a limited number of staff members available during regular business hours to assist you by telephone and e-mail.

    Click here for a list of Marin Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk’s services that are open and how to contact them.

Are other Bay Area Counties Recorder’s Offices Open?

What About Resale Inspections?

What About Property Tax Waivers?

  • Click HERE to view the Marin County Tax Collector's Office has a website and letter explaining its tax waiver program.

What About 1031 Exchanges?

  • The IRS issued guidance to grant deadline relief for both 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity zone investments that are already underway. Both of these programs are designed to promote economic growth in communities, and NAR made the case that investors in these programs should not be harmed due to the effects of COVID-19.
    • 1031 Like-kind exchanges: If an investor has taken the first step of a like-kind exchange by selling the old property, and either the 45-day or the 180-day deadline falls between April 1 and July 15, the deadline has been extended to July 15. Click here to read more.
    • Opportunity Zones: If an investor who sold a capital asset planned to roll over the gain into an Opportunity Fund and the 180-day deadline to do so falls between April 1 and July 15, 2020, he or she can make the investment as late as July 15.
  • Click here to read more details from the NAR Coronavirus Site 


Where Can I Find Information About Financial Relief for REALTORS®?


Where Can I Find the Latest Information From CAR?


Where Can I Find the Latest Updates From NAR?

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