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The rent in establishments closed due to COVID-19


The first sentences begin to emerge applying the doctrine “change of circumstances” known as rebus sic stantibus clause, estimating that the amount of the rent should be reduced with respect to those rents of business premises affected by COVID, as long as a series of specific circumstances are appreciated. 

This has been estimated by the Judge of First Instance number 20 of Barcelona in its sentence 1/2021 of 8th January considering in that specific case that the self employed “autónomo”  dedicated to the rental of turist accomodation is entitled to a 50% reduction of the rent not having been able to foresee the existence of this extraordinary situation derived from the COVID when signing the rental contract, having greatly reduced the benefits that intented to obtain.  

The ruling of the said sentence argues that, in view of the situation of the  restaurant manager, whose income has been reduced, the rental price is inadmissible, especially for the Lessee, who is on the verge of bankrupcy.

Notwithstanding the above, bear in mind that each matter must be analyzed individually in order to determine if the application of the rebus sic stantibus Clause is effectively applicable and thus modify the content of the contract, or even terminate it, when certain circumstances occur for the parties at the time of establishing the conditions of the contract, and that imply a substantial alteration of the basis of the business. 

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