The Covid-19 crisis is having a direct impact on commercial landlords and tenants and in the absence of Government intervention many are struggling to protect their investments.
A recent case in which we successfully protected a tenants’ interests in their property by securing an injunction, where the landlord was refusing access to the premises due to the non-payment of rent, may however provide a glimmer of hope, not only for tenants but also landlords in considering what action they might take in these uncertain times.
Click here to view Irish Times article on recent case.
In the case mentioned above, we successfully argued that the terms of the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) 2020, which was brought into law by the President on 27 March 2020 and which sought to protect evictions and rent increases for residential tenants only, could be applied in a commercial landlord and tenant scenario.
The impact of this is such that commercial landlords need to carefully consider whether or not to seek to forfeit any commercial lease for a breach of covenant, such as the non-payment of rent, service charges, insurance premium, etc., during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the circumstances, a landlord needs to act reasonably when considering forfeiting a lease, as does a tenant however and we would advise that a tenant should not use the COVID-19 circumstances to arbitrarily breach the terms of the lease and not to pay rent, but should rather seek to engage directly with the landlord and to reach a mutually satisfactory solution.
For more information please contact David O’Riordan, Partner.
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