On May 7, the long-awaited draft amendment to the so-called The COVID Act. We learned from it that the new wording of Art. The 15ze will, however, be retroactive. The rules of this retroactivity have been set out forcefully.
"The industry is facing a turbulent period. Expect an avalanche of lawsuits," Diana Kalita-Knapczyk of Causa Finita, the law firm, analyzed.
The new regulations provide that those tenants who had lease agreements concluded before March 14, 2020, and, pursuant to the provisions of Article 15 of the Act in its current wording, have submitted offers to extend them, will be able to – within 14 days from the entry into force of the amendment – submit statements on withdrawing previously submitted bids. The amount of all benefits (including service charges) will then be adjusted with a retroactive effect. Therefore, only 20 percent of the receivables will be due for the periods of previous lock-downs. However, for the next three months, the fees will be subject to a further 50 percent reduction.
"The regulations do not say whether the option to withdraw offers will only apply to offers strictly statutory. Or will it also apply to offers submitted on general terms and accepted by landlords? It is also unknown what will happen with the thousands of annexes to lease agreements already concluded. Tenants wanted to sign them because they were not satisfied with the current COVID regulations. Now it looks like they hurried up. Will they be able to evade their legal effects after the amendment comes into force?" Diana Kalita-Knapczyk wonders.
In order for the case not to smell like a scandal, the authors of the draft decided to provide the parties with a judicial way of labeling benefits in a different amount.
"Landlords can file lawsuits themselves. However, a question arises as to the practical sense of this regulation. The average duration of a business case in our country is after all 13 months. In one instance," adds the lawyer.
In her opinion, the biggest disadvantage of the amendment is that it is at least a year late.