The owners of Webster’s Community Pharmacy in Altadena told Pasadena Now they have received a second notice to vacate the premises for failure to pay the rent.
The second notice came less than a week after Calitex LLC sent the first notice. The property management company demanded that property owners apply for a small business loan before asking for relief on the rent.
The LA County Board of Supervisors has passed a rent moratorium that gives renters facing hardship caused by the Coronavirus outbreak 12 months to catch up on their rent after the Safer at Home orders ends.
Owner Meredith Miller said her attorney responded to the first notice and explained the hardship she and her husband Michael are facing, but the response did not have the expected response.
“They sent us a second, three day or quit notice on Saturday, which to me was just another bullying technique,” Miller said. “So in the meantime, the LA County Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Affairs have been in touch with, or will be getting in touch with these landlords to try to explain to them why what they’re doing is illegal and that they need to back off.”
Meredith and her husband Michael have paid half the rent on the Lake Avenue property where the pharmacy has been for nearly 100 years and continue to make smaller payments.
The notice is demanding a $5,000 payment.
On March 31, Calitex LLC sent a letter to all of its tenants.
“We hope that you and your staff are staying safe during the COVID-19 situation. Please note that the April 1,
2020 rent is due in accordance with your lease and expected to be paid on time.”
Pasadena Now has eached out to Calitex and has not received a return call.
“Please understand that the Landlord is not the Government and is not able to help any of our tenants but the Federal Government has made resources available through SBA and other agencies to help all small businesses hurt by the pandemic,” the letter reads. “Please promptly apply for any government loan programs available to you or check with your insurance provider if you have business interruption insurance for help paying your rent in accordance with the lease.
Webster’s Pharmacy has operated in Altadena since 1926 when Frank Webster opened it. At the time, it was a pharmacy with a soda fountain, cosmetics, liquor, and photo supplies.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, son William Webster expanded the stores and services up and down the block, and connected the stores by removing walls, according to the now defunct AltadenaBlog.