BGH decision: rent reduction possible in lockdown


Status: 12.01.2022 12:43 p.m.

The lockdown left many retailers in trouble: no customers, no revenue – but the lease continued. The BGH has now ruled that the rent can be reduced to a certain extent.

By Kerstin Anabah, ARD legal editor

What was it about before the BGH?

In spring 2020, shops in Saxony had to close for several weeks due to corona. The basis was a general order from the state government. This also affected the textile discounter KiK in the Chemnitz area, which then did not pay rent in April. The landlord, however, demands the full rent of around 7850 euros for the month. The question: How much rent actually has to be paid?

How did the lower authorities decide?

The lower courts rated the case differently: The Chemnitz Regional Court sentenced KiK to pay the full rent. The OLG Dresden decided: KiK only has to pay almost half of the rent. Both parties appealed against this judgment to the Federal Court of Justice.

What is the judgment of the Federal Court of Justice?

The judges in Karlsruhe decided today: During the lockdown period, retailers have a fundamental right to have the shop rent adjusted. However, there must be no blanket reduction.

Frank Groom, SWR, on retailer rent reduction entitlement in the event of a lockdown

tagesschau24 10:00 a.m., January 12th, 2022

“Rather, it requires a comprehensive and case-by-case weighing up, which is initially of importance which disadvantages the tenant suffered as a result of the business closure and its duration,” said Hans-Joachim Dose, presiding judge of the Federal Court of Justice. The judges emphasized that the decisive factor is the sales loss of the specific shop tenant, not that of the group.

So that the tenant does not get too much money, possible government compensation payments must also be taken into account. Exception: They are granted on credit. Company insurance benefits are also relevant.

How is it going on now?

In the specific case, the Dresden Higher Regional Court has to re-examine all the circumstances of the individual case – i.e. what economic effects the business closure in lockdown had for KiK and whether these disadvantages make a rent reduction necessary.

Az. XII ZR 8/21

BGH decision: retailers are entitled to adjust the shop rent in the event of a lockdown

Kerstin Anabah, SWR, daily news 12:00 p.m., January 12, 2022

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