Authorized Results of COVID-19 on NYC Business Leases

NYC-based boutique legislation agency Pardalis & Nohavicka brings the most recent authorized updates from the world of actual property. Pardalis & Nohavicka handles an eclectic array of issues, representing people and enterprise homeowners in civil litigation, legal instances and enterprise transactions, presently litigating and representing purchasers all through the US and world wide. 

If the federal government declares a state of emergency once more as a result of one other public well being disaster and initiates a authorities mandated lockdown, are you ready? Legally talking, that’s.

Even after the substantial impact that COVID-19 had on the economic system, governments haven’t publicly modified their stance on methods to deal with such conditions. Consequently, now there may be priority and in addition mechanisms in place. Subsequently, to arrange for what appears inevitable, one must know the affect that the pandemic has had on business leases.

Briefly, the outcome can be depending on the negotiated phrases within the lease. That’s as a result of New York statutes are silent on this matter and, thus, one shouldn’t depend on the courts for help.

For instance, one of many provisions that tenants have tried to depend on to acquire forbearance on hire funds was by means of a basic drive majeure clause. Nevertheless, courts have usually construed this narrowly and dominated that it didn’t apply to COVID-type conditions until particularly addressed within the lease.

Equally, tenants have additionally tried making use of the widespread legislation defenses of frustration and impossibility doctrines. Broadly talking, these do enable for unexpected occasions to excuse lease obligations. That mentioned, the burden of proof could be very excessive for a tenant as a result of it should actually be not possible to have used the premises.

Primarily, if a tenant has any risk of mitigating damages, they don’t seem to be excused from their lease obligations. As such, the courts will construe this doctrine narrowly and have dominated that the phrases referred to as for within the lease will not be depending on profitability.

In the end, courts have reaffirmed the sanctity of contract over any perceived injustice as a result of companies want to think about all dangers — regardless of how distant — of their enterprise plans. This can be freely negotiated into the lease to the mutual good thing about each events.

Moreover, the courts haven’t favored tenants as one could have anticipated given the devastating impact on companies. Therefore, it’s crucial for all events concerned to particularly handle COVID-type conditions of their lease.


John Pak, serves because the Actual Property Chair on the Legislation Places of work of Pardalis & Nohavicka. He’s a transactional legal professional specializing in acquisitions, inclinations and leasing.  A graduate of Brooklyn Legislation Faculty, he acquired his BA in Political Science from New York College.  Previous to becoming a member of PN Attorneys, John owned his personal personal legislation observe for 15 years and a title firm for six years.

Taso Pardilis

Taso Pardalis is a founding associate of the Legislation Places of work of Pardalis & Nohavicka, a number one full- service NYC legislation agency with workplaces in Manhattan, Queens and WeWork. Taso could also be a widely known legal professional with many instances making headlines in main media retailers, however at coronary heart, he’s a real entrepreneur that believes in supporting the small enterprise group. His areas of focus are: Mental Property, Emblems, Company, Enterprise Legislation and Actual Property Legislation.

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