At this extremely difficult time many business owners may be unable to trade from their premises however still be liable for the full rent for the premises. Other businesses may suffer interruptions to supply lines so as to have their operations interrupted or even brought to a standstill.
Many commercial contracts and some commercial leases may allow specifically for force majeure or possibly rent abatement provisions in such circumstances.
Fortunately for commercial tenants, the Federal government has now made a pronouncement as regards commercial leases in the form of a ‘mandatory code of conduct’ set out in the link below.
The clear aim of the code is to share equitably with the landlord the pain that the tenant is suffering by encouraging open dialogue. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, there is provision for a binding mediation process.
Unfortunately no such relief is available to other businesses who may be similarly impacted financially but have only their commercial contract arrangements to fall back upon. Relief may be available! Business owners should not underestimate the power of such provisions which are often embedded in a part of the relevant contract that is rarely looked at
Our Legal Practice Director Paul Kordic would be happy to have a preliminary no obligation discussion with you to discuss whether your contracts provide assistance in the current circumstances