Lease agreements: important changes in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic

On April 01, 2020, Federal Law No. 98-FZ of 01.04.2020 "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on the Prevention and Liquidation of Emergency Situations" (hereinafter referred to as the "Law") entered into force. Among the emergency measures taken in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, this law provides for measures aimed at protecting the interests of tenants of real estate (buildings, premises, etc.).

The Law applies to any lease agreements of immovable property, both state or municipal property, and owned by legal entities and individuals. The new rules will also apply to real estate sublease agreements.

For tenants who entered into lease agreements before the adoption in 2020 by the state authority of the relevant subject of the Russian Federation of a decision on the introduction of a high-alert or emergency situation (in Moscow, a high-alert mode was introduced on March 05, 2020), the following was provided:
the lessor is obliged to conclude an additional agreement with the lessee   on deferral of payment of rent  within 30 days from the date of the relevant request of the lessee. At the same time, specific requirements for the terms of such a deferral (the deferral period, interest accrual on the amount of debt, liability of the parties) will be additionally established by the Government of the Russian Federation.;
the amount of rent under such lease agreements may change by agreement of the parties at any time during 2020.
As another measure of support for tenants, the Law enshrines their right to demand a reduction in rent for the period 2020, with reference to the impossibility of using the property due to the decision by public authorities to introduce a high-alert or emergency situation.

Since the issue of postponing the payment of lease payments or reducing their size is extremely relevant now, we will be happy to promptly support you when interacting with landlords to coordinate the necessary changes to lease agreements. In particular, we will be happy to prepare drafts of written appeals to the landlord and additional agreements to lease agreements in accordance with the Law, as well as advise you on the procedure for communicating with the landlord on these issues.