Liam is an Attorney and Conveyancer working in the Commercial Bonds department based in Claremont. He joined the firm in 2021 and currently oversees the firm’s centralised bond cancellations department.  He works with all major banks including their commercial, corporate and wealth banking divisions. He also attends to the registration of private mortgage bonds.  Prior to joining STBB; Liam was employed in the Legal and Compliance Department of an insurance company.

Thought of the Week | More on covid regulations’ impact on commercial lease agreements

As the world adapts to the new normal, legal professionals are tasked with interpreting the obligations of parties to existing agreements in so far as they have struggled to perform as usual as a result of the ever-changing COVID-19 Regulations.

The Western Cape High Court was tasked with adjudicating a dispute between a commercial landlord and tenant, in circumstances where the tenant had sublet the premises to a well-known restaurant operation. The tenant and sub-lessee’s business operations are interrelated.

The lockdown regulations had a severe impact on the restaurant’s business and this prompted the tenant to notify the landlord that it believed that it was entitled to a remission in rental, the COVID-19 Regulations constituting vis maior, after all.

The Court held, among other things, that the lockdown regulations were a form of vis major. However, the tenant had no claim for remission as it was not the party in beneficial occupation; rather, it was the sub-tenant (restaurant business) that suffered the losses and which unfortunately was not a party to the matter before the court.

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