Rental During the Covid Pandemic
In terms of the Government Notice of the 25 March 2020 issued by the Minister of Cooperative Governance (as amended) together with its amendments of the regulations of the Disaster Amendment Act, certain business and other entities were obliged to immediately cease trading.
The immediate knock on effect being that the affected tenants received little to no income.
Before engaging in any decisions with respects to rentals due, it is of paramount importance to review the force majeure clause (or an act of God) that is ordinarily found in rental agreements.
The intention of this clause is to protect the parties against “an act of God”. In context, this considers whether any breach of the lease agreement brought about through the Covid Pandemic can be considered as a breach which may result in your legal eviction. .
This determination is not without complexity as it is based on the wording of the force majeure clause. Should the force majeure clause not exist in the rental agreement, the parties may rely on the common law principle of supervening impossibility.
It is prudent to appraise the scenario from both a commercial and legal perspective before engaging in extreme measures (for example non-payment or eviction).
Furthermore, each scenario will need to be determined on the strength of its own specific merits.
It is thus prudent to seek expert legal advise.
For further information, please contact Alan Alhadeff at Alhadeff Attorneys email@example.com