As the Novel Coronavirus forces retailers to close their doors, many are wondering how they can sustain business and afford the rent. With retail sales down and business grinding to a halt, some are inquiring if force majeure clauses in their contract will apply to the coronavirus, something that will give relief to some and others not at all.
Becker Shareholder Glenn Spiegel said some retailers are under the false assumption they won’t have to pay their rent. “All of the rent will become due at some point, and they’ll end up in litigation,” he said. There will be an influx of cases when the courts open, so the litigation may take a long time. By the same token, some landlords and property owners may be willing to make concessions to keep their tenants. “The property owners are going to look to the government,” he said.