adidas, Deichmann and a legal loophole in tenancy law
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adidas, Deichmann and a legal loophole in tenancy law

Large companies like adidas and Deichmann want to make use of the gap in the law. The media, political and social echo came promptly and is devastating. Those responsible have underestimated the public impact. „The three stripes“, as Holger Ohmstedt put it in the ARD Tagesthemen on 30.3.2020, would “stand in future for unacceptable, indecent and anti-social“.

Let’s look at the legal facts

According to the new § 2 to Art. 240 Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (EGBGB), a landlord cannot terminate a lease if the tenant fails to pay the rent in the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 despite the fact that it is due.

The tenant only has to prove that the non-payment is due to the consequences of the Corona pandemic. The legislator has put minor demands on this proof.

Tenants have to pay rent arrears caused by the Corona crisis until 30.06.2022

The obligation to pay rent does not disappear with the new regulation. Therefore, termination is excluded for the time being. Nevertheless, tenants must pay the rent arrears caused by the Corona crisis until 30 June 2022.

Similar arrangements were created for the payment and termination of loans

For the payment and cancellation of loan agreements, the new regulations explicitly apply only to consumers. Later, the regulations may still apply to micro-enterprises with up to nine employees and up to two million euros annual turnover or up to two million euros balance sheet total.

Our assessment

Such a restriction would probably have been useful for the area of tenancy law as well. The legislator certainly had private individuals and the tenants of smaller shops in mind, whom he wanted to help quickly with the new regulations. The fact that large and economically solid companies can also make use of this regulation was probably overlooked or simply not expected.

Depending on the economic constraints of the Corona crisis for companies, tenants can make use of the new regulations on tenancy law in § 2 to Art. 240 EGBGB.

For this reason, we always recommend that you first contact the landlord in order to agree on an amicable reduction or temporary deferment of the rent. In the negotiations we have conducted for our clients in recent days, we have almost always met with understanding and have been able to find solutions acceptable to both parties.

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