Many of our commercial real estate clients are asking for guidance about the ramifications of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on their businesses and leases. To address this global health crisis, in South Carolina Governor McMaster has issued executive orders that among other things close all non essential businesses, restrict restaurants from providing in house dinning service, and restricts the gathering sizes of people in public areas. Click here to read the Governor’s executive orders.
As we practice safe social distancing to flatten the curve to help conquer the global COVID-19 health crisis these are uncharted times for many businesses around the world and it’s significantly affecting these businesses ability to generate revenue and make timely and full lease payments.
Did you know that many commercial leases have what is called a “force majeure” clause (it means superior force in Latin) that may be used to help you with the burden of making timely and full lease payments?
A “force majeure”, has generally been defined in South Carolina (SC Code §38-59- 210 (2012)) to mean “any act of God, governmental act, act of terrorism, war, fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, or other natural disaster, explosion or civil commotion,” but a court will typically interpret the language as written in a contract (or lease in this context).
Contact us today for a lease review to see if you have a clause in your lease that may help you negotiate favorable payment terms with your landlord during this global health crisis.
Stay safe out there and follow the advice of your local government agencies: