- Commercial rent—COVID-19 defences fail at summary judgment (Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft mbh v TFS Stores Ltd)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Property Disputes analysis: This is the first judgment to be handed down relating to a claim for arrears of rent and service charge of retail premises where the tenant relied upon the closure of retail units imposed upon them during lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The claim was for arrears of rent and service charge and was defended on various grounds relating to the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as contentions relating to the landlord’s obligation to insure against loss of rent. Each of the defences was rejected by the court which awarded summary judgment for the landlord for the arrears of rent and service charge. Given that many commercial tenants have withheld rent on the strength of the imposed closures during periods of lockdown, the case provides guidance on some of the issues raised by tenants and will come as a welcome development for landlords. Written by Gary Cowen QC, Queen’s counsel at Falcon Chambers who appeared in the case for the landlord.
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