ROUNDUP: Federal Court of Justice decides on rent payments in lockdown
An office building in the sun (symbolic image). © PPAMPicture / E + / Getty Images
KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) – The Federal Court of Justice wants to comment on Wednesday (9 a.m.) on the question of whether business owners had to continue to pay the full rent in the corona lockdown. At the negotiation in December, it became clear that retailers would probably not be able to hope for a blanket half / half rule. It is possible that all cases must be carefully examined individually in court (Az. XII ZR 8/21). The highest civil judges in Karlsruhe were of the opinion that, for example
It must also be taken into account whether the business owner has received state aid or benefits from a company closure insurance.
The basis is a sample case from Saxony. It’s about a branch of the textile discounter Kik in the Chemnitz area, which had to close from March 19 to April 19, 2020 and for which the landlord wants the full rent of around 7,850 euros. However, the Dresden Higher Regional Court ruled that Kik only has to pay about half of it. It is about “extensive state interference in social and economic life due to a pandemic”. The risk of such a systemic crisis cannot be assigned to one contracting party alone.
Kik is not alone. With the officially ordered closings in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses lost their income from one day to the next. Fixed costs such as rent, however, continued to be incurred. Some landlords showed courtesy, others did not.
In December 2020, the legislature made it clear that commercial tenants can request an adjustment of their lease if they have to close due to Corona measures or are only allowed to open their business with severe restrictions. It is assumed that the tenant and landlord would not have signed a contract if it had already been clear what the future would bring. This does not mean that business owners are automatically entitled to have part of their rent waived. The landlord can only grant a postponement. The courts do not have a uniform line./kre/sem/DP/zb
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