As can be read in the press, some retail companies want to stop their rent payments from April. Many apartment tenants might think what the big ones can do, I can too, and consider whether they should still transfer the rent for April. In doing so, they overlook the fact that there is a big difference between apartment tenants and companies that operate in the retail, catering or hotel business. Because for these companies, the Corona crisis means that they are not allowed to use the rented premises for the contractually agreed purpose due to official requirements. The rented rooms are worthless for them. The tenant of an apartment, on the other hand, can continue to use his apartment without restrictions despite the corona crisis. The fact that he may earn less because of the Corina crisis has nothing to do with the apartment.
For tenants, therefore, the only regulation in the Corona Consequences Mitigation Act is that the landlord is not allowed to terminate their apartment in the next few months if they cannot pay their rent due to the crisis. If they do not succeed in convincing the landlord that the Corona crisis is the reason for the suspension of rent payments because they have no income and no reserves, the landlord can even terminate their tenancy now. However, they remain obliged to pay. If they do not pay their rent, they can be sued for payment by the landlord and will even have to pay the rent later with interest on arrears.
The situation is different for commercial tenants who are not allowed to use the rented premises due to the Corona crisis. Since they are no longer allowed to use the rented premises for the contractually agreed purpose, they may possibly be able to reduce the rent according to the general rules of the Civil Code because the rented property is defective.
Whether apartment tenant or commercial tenant – in any case, in case of payment difficulties, the conversation with the landlord should be sought.