Many retailers looking to take on new leases are insisting on the inclusion of so called ‘Pandemic Clauses’ to protect them into the future.
The clause automatically reduces rent payments where the shop is forced to close in a lockdown scenario. Often the reduction is around 50% and includes situations where there is a turnover based rent too.
Many large retailers have been insisting on these for some time now and others are seeking to renegotiate their existing leases to include such clauses.
This will no doubt become a standard clause going forward. However, it is very difficult to second guess every possible risk issue that could occur in the future especially given this situation was not on anyone’s mind up until this year. So I’m sure the next ‘black swan’ or ‘pandemic like’ event that comes up in years to come will also not have been envisaged or included in other legal documents.