By Konrad Putzier and Esther Fung | Wall Street Journal
Shortly after James Wacht shut down his two gyms for children in Brooklyn last week, he sent letters to his landlords asking for rent relief.
He has a successful business, he wrote to the building owners, but only limited cash reserves. To continue paying staff, he needed a break on his rent bill.
As the spread of the coronavirus upends the economy, forcing restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and offices to close, many businesses across the country are likely to stop paying rent on April 1.
Delaying or skipping rent payments offers a lifeline to struggling businesses and could ward off some bankruptcies and layoffs. Some, like Mr. Wacht, will try to renegotiate their leases. Many others won’t mail in their rent checks, daring landlords to evict them at a time when finding another tenant is almost impossible, and a number of U.S. cities have put a moratorium on evictions. Still others are simply liquidating.
“Missed or reduced rents and financing payments will affect everyone – landlords, tenants, lenders, and their investors. Our Transactional attorneys at Rose Law Group are helping clients to look ahead and make plans to deal with the setbacks being thrown at them presently, and we strongly recommend considering this before you get approached to change your contracts.” ~ Cameron Carter, Rose Law Group partner and Transactional Department Director