The weight of rents

By Audrey SomnardLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

It has been more than a year since the Covid-19 crisis hit the "horeca" sector hard. A lawyer decided to take the situation of a café to court to have its rents cancelled. A case that could serve as a precedent to others who are waiting.

In recent weeks, the hotel, restaurant and catering industry has been waiting for Frank Rollinger to take legal action to ensure that cafés are exempt from paying rent during periods of administrative closure. The latter has appealed against the latest judgement because the lawyer disagrees, among other things, with the termination of the lease as pronounced by the court.

Apart from a few weeks of respite last summer, with restaurants surviving on deliveries, cafés are in agony, despite the recent reopening under condition of a preliminary test and terraces that compensate a little for the damage. As the Brasserie Nationale admitted at their press conference in early February, while the owners of the premises were accommodating during the first lockdown in March 2020, the "generosity" of the owners has its limits, and some are far from understanding. So, it is case by case. While some wiped the slate clean at the first lockdown, others were content to defer rent until the business resumed. For the cafe owners who have been in survival mode for months now, with no income apart from state aid, the blow is hard. Some have decided to turn against their landlords to have the rent cancelled because of the administrative closure.

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