BGH judgment on business: rent reductions are possible in individual cases

Status: 12.01.2022 10:28 a.m.

Many shops remained closed during the corona lockdowns, but the rent for the business premises was still due. The Federal Court of Justice has decided that rent reductions are possible in individual cases.

Tenants of commercially used rooms can be entitled to an adjustment of the rent as a result of the Corona lockdown after a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice. The judges in Karlsruhe decided that all circumstances of the individual case must always be taken into account. These included, for example, the loss of sales for the specific property, state aid or insurance benefits.

Frank Bräutigam, SWR, on the entitlement to rent reduction for retailers in the event of a lockdown

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

Both sides – tenants and landlords – are burdened by the state measures in the fight against the corona pandemic, neither side bears sole responsibility. Half / half divisions of the rent are, however, too lump-sum.

7850 euros rent despite lockdown?

In the specific case, it was about a legal dispute between the textile dealer Kik and the landlord of a Kik branch near Chemnitz. After the state of Saxony ordered the closure of almost all shops due to the corona pandemic in March 2020, Kik did not pay the around 7,850 euros rent for the shop in April. The landlord, a property management company, sued the company for this.

The Chemnitz Regional Court sentenced Kik to pay the full rent for the month, the Dresden Higher Regional Court reduced the amount by half. It saw a disruption of the business foundation that neither tenants nor landlords could have foreseen. The OLG found that the consequences could not be expected of one party alone.

Case goes back to OLG Dresden

The BGH approved the ruling insofar as the rent can be adjusted in the event of a lockdown. However, he saw legal errors in the specific considerations of the OLG, which had not considered the individual case carefully enough.

This must therefore now negotiate the case again. It has to examine what specific economic effects the lockdown had on the Kik branch and whether these were so serious that the textile retailer is therefore allowed to pay less rent.

Az. XII ZR 8/21

BGH: Pay rent for the shop when Corona closes?

Gigi Deppe, SWR, 12.1.2022 · 10:57 p.m.

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