Decree Law 34/2020, of October 20, 2020, which regulates the decrease in rental income, in the premises affected by the measures against COVID-19, in Catalonia.
On October 20, 2020, the Generalitat of Catalonia approved Decree-Law number 34/2020, which established the decrease in rental income in the premises affected by the measures against COVID-19. The purpose of the Decree-Law is to equitably distribute the negative consequences derived from the measures adopted to deal with COVID-19, and thus avoid the closure of companies or the disappearance of workplaces.
- In the first place, the regulations are applied in a subsidiary way, that is, the possible agreements between the lessor and the lessee always prevail, and affects, all lease contracts for the performance of industrial or commercial activities, signed as of January 1, 1995.
Although before the entry into force of this law, there would have been an agreement between the parties, the lessee may request its application, regarding the measures provided in it.
- The law is applicable at the time that measures are decreed to suspend the development of the activity or to restrict the material use of real estate leased for the performance of industrial and commercial activities, to face COVID-19, the lessee may require the lessor party by means of burofax or other reliable forms, to modify the contractual conditions to restore the balance of benefits.
- The landlord from receiving the request must refrain from issuing an invoice against the lessee for the amount of the rent and other expenses in charge of the latter, until the period of one month to negotiate the contractual modification has elapsed or, if earlier, until the date of the agreement.
- The incomes that have expired may be attributed totally or partially to the guarantees that are in the possession of the lessor, with the exception of the mandatory bond. The lessee must reimburse the guarantees used in the imputation of payments within one year from the disappearance of the agreed measures, and, in any case, before the end of the contract if its term is shorter.
- In the event that, within a month from the notification, an agreement has NOT been reached, the following rules will apply:
5.1. Suspension of the development of the activity (closed premises): automatic reduction of 50% on the rent and other amounts due, while the measures last.
The decrease in rent will be applied from the day the tenant notifies the lessor of the will to negotiate. The affected premises are the following: bar, restaurants, gyms, beauty centers, toy libraries …
5.2. Partial restriction of the material use of the property (partial operation premises): automatic reduction of 50% of the rent and other amounts due from the wasted part, while the measures last.
The limitation of the capacity and the time limitation of attention to the public will be taken into account. A clear example would be the cases of restaurants with limited capacity: half of the rent will be paid in full, since it gets a return on it, and of the remaining half will pay 50%, the updated rent will be 75% of the agreed.
The possible premises affected are the following: theaters, bars, shops, 24-hour shops and hotels.
In the case of establishments that sell take-out products, this activity will not be taken into account, and the above criteria will be applied.
If the measures of suspension of the development of the activity or of restriction of the material use of leased real estate for the performance of industrial and commercial activities, to face COVID-19, were extended more than 3 months in the course of a year to counting from October 22, 2020, the tenant may terminate the contract without penalty, as long as the measures are maintained and up to three months after the end of the agreed measures, with one month’s notice.