The owner and tenant (church) must work out who is to get the permit. It is as simple as that.
The City doesn't care who applies. They just want it to be safe re fire exits, that there are toilets, that electric is not overloaded, that there is adequate ventilation, etc. The ;previous occupants may or may not have satisfied these items. Building inspection will determine this.
Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA