Cozen O'Connor Group Tackles Surge Of Virus-Driven Lease Disputes

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Matt Weinstein discusses the formation of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate Lease Restructuring Practice, a multidisciplinary team assembled to address the growing needs of landlord and tenant lease renegotiation issues that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic in Law360.

Shortly after the onset of the pandemic Cozen O’Connor saw a significant increase in the number of clients from around the country with lease restructuring requests. Client needs are multifaceted, extending beyond requiring guidance for traditional real estate services, with landlords and tenants requiring advice on issues ranging from labor and employment to tax and bankruptcy. By far, one of the most common issues the group is addressing is rent abatement and deferral disputes.

"I think almost everything sort of boils down to that issue," Weinstein said. "Many of the tenants want the rent to be abated. The landlords of course argue that payment of rent is an independent covenant...that you have to pay your rent regardless," Matt said.

He also noted that many tenants have until the end of this year to pay while others have had their timeline extended even further.

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