Rent adjustment for retail space agreed
Our client had been operating a shop for several years, but it was located in a shopping centre which was doing increasingly badly. There were a lot of vacant shops, which put our client’s shop outside the walking route of the shoppers. Less traffic means lower revenue, endangering healthy business operations.
The assignment was clear: the rent had to be lowered. The question was how to achieve this.
In certain situations, a rent adjustment can be forced through a lawsuit. In this case, the average rental prices of comparable properties over the last five years are examined. The last adjustments of the rent must have taken place more than 5 years ago. That was not the case here. A lawsuit was therefore impossible. We had to find another way.
Hoens & Souren was able to make clear to the landlord that an unaltered continuation of the rental contract would lead to the client’s bankruptcy. We explained what the negative consequences of this would be for the landlord. We also pointed out the landlord’s duty to properly manage his shopping centre and not allow for endless uncertainty regarding a renovation.
Although the landlord knew that a decrease in rent could not be forced legally, he understood very well that the status quo was not sustainable. The landlord was prepared to discuss a new, suitable rental price.
After negotiating about various elements of the rental price, the parties reached an agreement on a significant decrease. Partly with retroactive effect and additionally, including rent discounts for the coming years during which the renovation of the shopping centre would be completed. All this was properly recorded. Thanks to the decrease in rent, part of the deposit was returned, which had an immediate positive impact on our client’s cash flow.
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