When You Can’t Pay Your Commercial Lease Due to COVID-19
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the finances of millions of Americans. Many have been laid off from their jobs as non-essential businesses are forced to shut down. Many individuals are without an income and have little to no savings. This makes it difficult to pay bills and buy necessary purchases. Many are concerned about paying rent, and what will happen if they don’t have enough money to do so.
Families aren’t the only ones concerned about paying rent. Business owners are facing similar situations. Companies have been doing less business due to COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns. In many cases, they are doing no business at all. Since they are making no money, they have none to pay bills. These companies may be losing money for many weeks and even months, pushing them into the red.
Even larger businesses are having financial difficulties. For many, rent was due on April 1. If they can’t pay the rent, they will violate the terms of their business lease. What happens next? Will they face eviction? If you’re a small business owner, what options do you have? Here are a couple to consider.
Check Your Lease
Now’s a good time to thoroughly read through your lease and see what options it includes—if any—for financial relief during an emergency. Your options and legal obligations will depend on what is included in the lease, and every document is different. Keep in mind that commercial leases are typically not very favorable to the tenants, so don’t expect much help. Your landlord, for the most part, is not obligated to defer or suspend your payments during this time. However, to be sure, you may want to contact a lawyer to help you understand the terms and conditions of your lease.
Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program
As part of the coronavirus stimulus package, small businesses can apply for a loan. If you have fewer than 500 employees, you can apply for as much as $10 million. The good news is that much of the loan amount can be forgiven, as long as you use at least 75% of the money for payroll. Since this will be a popular program, get your documents in order and start making calls now.
Contact Your Landlord
The least you can do is let your landlord know your situation. See if you can negotiate with them. Some are willing to work out deals, such as reduced or deferred rent. If you do come to an agreement, make sure it is in writing and both of you sign it.
Learn More About Business Leasing
Individuals are not the only ones who are facing problems paying rent due to the coronavirus crisis. Business owners are having difficulties as well, since many have had to shut down. Those who remain open are often seeing reduced business and revenues, which can make it difficult to pay bills.
Orlando business leasing lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal can help you negotiate with your landlord. You may be able to avoid eviction for now. Get the help you need to keep your business afloat. Call (407) 890-0023 or fill out the online form and schedule a consultation today.