Covid-19 has meant shuttering multiple business premises across the State. Yet tenants must continue to pay their rent and landlords must continue to service their borrowings. Real estate lawyers in common law jurisdictions have quickly reached a broad consensus around the legal realities of this situation.
First, tenants are unlikely to be able to walk away from their lease obligations. Most leases have no “force majeure” provisions and the shutdown is unlikely to amount to “frustration” (a view supported by a Hong Kong case arising from the 2002 Sars [Severe acute respiratory syndrome] outbreak). Second, landlords and tenants will find that the standard definition of “insured risks” for buildings insurance is of no assistance. Policies are typically concerned only with losses arising from physical damage and so even “loss of rent” cover is of no use.
Read the full details in the Irish Times
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