Retail Landlords Offer Pandemic Clauses in New Leases

Some agreements will allow tenants to defer some rent if the government orders another shutdown related to coronavirus

Analysts and economists are paying close attention to monthly retail-sales numbers as a way to gauge how the economy may be recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press.

Retail landlords are including pandemic language in new leases, a previously rare feature as tenants seek protection after the first government-mandated coronavirus shutdowns in March complicated their negotiations for rent relief.

Because many insurance policies didn’t cover pandemic-related losses, landlords have offered various concessions to attract and retain tenants, including allowing them to defer part of their rent if another shutdown is ordered. Both sides get breathing room: Tenants are able to lower expenses while...

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