SNP Schlawien wins Corona litigation in commercial rental law for listed commercial landlord
The law firm SNP Schlawien represented a listed commercial landlord (defendant) in a lawsuit against an operator of car service centres and online shop for car accessories (plaintiff) before the District Court Mannheim. The judgement handed down is one of the first ones concerning a possible adjustment of the rent for commercial leases for office purposes in the context of the Corona pandemic.
In the period from 17 March 2020 to 3 May 2020, the plaintiff was forced to close the open-plan offices of her company headquarters almost completely and to send all employees - except for an emergency staffing - to the home office due to the issued CoronaVO of the state of Baden-Württemberg and the infection of an employee with the Covid-19 pathogen. Thereupon the plaintiff filed a suit against the defendant for repayment of the rent paid for the commercial premises or a reduction of the rent and invoked § 313 BGB (disturbance of the basis of the business).
The Mannheim District Court followed the argumentation of SNP Schlawien that there was no official requirement on the basis of which the plaintiff's administrative headquarters would have had to be closed and thus the decision to send all employees to the home office was their own. Furthermore, the plaintiff's business activities had not been restricted at all, as was evident from her website, since the service centres were open wider and the operation of the online shop had also been possible without restriction. The Regional Court therefore dismissed the action. The judgment is not yet final. It remains to be seen whether the plaintiff will appeal against the judgment.
Representatives of listed commercial landlord
SNP Schlawien Partnership mbB, Munich: Lisa Knöll and Sascha Sormann (real estate law)
Phone: +49 89 28634-428