Commercial lease questions, concerns & approaches with COVID-19

On Wednesday, April 16, 2020, Bow Valley College hosted a free webinar about commercial leases and rental agreements with Jeff Grandfield of The Lease

Jeff emphasized that the most important thing that every business owner who has a lease or rental agreement can do is to communicate with their landlord.
He also offered these pieces of advice:

  • Review your lease agreement and insurance policy to make sure that you understand the details. Most insurance policies do not have coverage for tenants affected by COVID-19.
  • Don’t skip rent payments without talking to your landlord:
    • If you can pay some or all of your rent you should do so.
    • If you need to discuss rent deferral (paying your rent at some time in the future) or abatement (rent forgiveness) with your landlord, talk to them now.
    • Landlords may ask you to share your financials and details about what other steps you are taking to improve cash flow (government assistance, working with your bank, etc.)
    • Most landlords will help their tenants with rental assistance during the pandemic.
  • Once you have an agreement in place with your landlord, keep them updated as to how your business is doing.
    • Rent agreements that you make with your landlord will usually be for a certain amount of time (i.e. one month or a 3-month term) and will need to be renegotiated at the end of the term.

You can watch the full commercial lease questions, concerns & approaches with COVID-19 webinar recording here (enter password M6$@4FJ= when prompted).