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Frankfurt Partner Boris Strauch was quoted by VerkehrsRundschau, a German transportation industry magazine, with respect to flexibility in commercial lease agreements in times of crisis, like during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strauch said changes in commercial leases could only occur for extraordinary reasons. “Fixed-term leases which do not provide for ordinary termination rights can only be terminated for good reason,” he told the publication. “Such good reason can for example consist in major defects of the rented property, unauthorized use of the property, rent arrears summing up to substantially two monthly rents, or similar serious breaches of contract. A significant deficiency, like a leak in the roof, can authorize a tenant to terminate their lease without notice. However, this would only be permitted if a reasonable amount of time has passed without remedy.” According to Strauch, “There is no across-the-board, ‘special right of termination’ for commercial leases because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis. However, if a fixed-term lease does not comply with the legally required written form, which often happens, the ordinary termination right for leases with an indefinite term applies.”

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