This article will focus on the answers to these question in relation to commercial leases in South Carolina specifically, but a lot of what is discussed may also apply in other states. As of now, without an explicit agreement with the landlord under the lease regarding payment of rent during this pandemic, there are “simple” answers and “practical” answers that either now exist or that will eventually reveal themselves. Please also note that the answers to the above questions are fluid and may be affected by forthcoming government relief programs and bailouts.
Do I have to pay rent?Simple Answer: Yes.
Click here for a brief summary of what a Force Majeure clause is). As of now, there have been no Federal or state orders issued or laws passed that currently allow tenants to stop paying rent or requiring landlords to provide any type of rent relief.
Can I be held in default and/or evicted during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic?Simple Answers: Held in default, yes. Evicted, probably not for the immediate future.
So, if you cannot pay your rent due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, or for any other reason, we highly recommend you first discuss it with an attorney. It may be that approaching your landlord and reaching an agreement that works for both of you is the best approach, or it may be that your specific situation requires more complex and/or drastic steps. If you are located in one of the jurisdictions in which McGrath and Spielberger has licensed attorneys, please contact us and we would be happy to assist you analyze your situation and form a plan that will allow your business to survive during these unprecedented times. You can click here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 800.481.2180.
McGrath and Spielberger, PLLC handles business law, contract law and commercial lease matters every day, and has lawyers who are licensed to practice in FL, GA, NC, OH, SC, and TN (if you are unsure as to what jurisdiction applies to your legal matter, we can help make that determination).