Non-payment of commercial rent during lock-down


Situation: -A huge fast food joint(tenant) closed down it's store during lock-down from 22 March to 11 July even though it's competitors kept their stores working by delivering online. -DM ordered to open store for public sitting on 11 June, still it kept it's store closed until 11 July. -There is no mention of force majeure in agreement anywhere, still the tenant sent a mail mentioning about force majeure and inability to pay rent until govt allows them to open store or UNTIL THEY RESUME OPERATION. -Lock-down now is on weekends too, so the tenant are asking to pay rent on per day basis excluding weekends. Question: -If the tenant haven't mentioned the term force majeure in agreement then will it be applicable? -If yes, then do the tenant have to pay partial rent or no rent for month April and May even though the tenant could have worked online? -DM ordered to open store in June still the tenant waited for one more month, so rent of June and weekend should be paid by the tenant or not?

Answers (3)


51 votes

tenant will have to pay entire rent irrespective of the lockdown. tenant can not take the ground that he was unable to operate the shop during the complete or partial lockdown hence he should be absolved by his liability of paying rent. Entire rent with interest will have to be paid by the tenant.


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164 votes

There is no order of the district magistrate or the state authority which prevents them from functioning or opening the store in question, thereby there is no embargo on the tenant to not pay rent to the landlord and in absence of any force majeure clause he cannot take benefit of the same.

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123 votes

Dear Sir.. If force majeure is not mentioned in the agreement, then they cannot take the defence of it.. But yes our contract laws provide have some provisions through which they could get some relaxation, but it is subject to litigation.. Therefore you could serve a notice of recovery and if the tenant dies not pat then it could be challenged in Court..
Thanks and Regards

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