Gov’t mulls legislation to freeze rental payments

Gov’t mulls legislation to freeze rental payments

Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
Gov’t mulls legislation to freeze rental payments

The government is working on a draft law to freeze rent payments of businesses if their operations are halted due to pandemic-related restrictions.

“Rental contracts are based on commercial activity. We have received some suggestions to stop rental payments for a period in which that activity is suspended. The code of obligations could be amended,” a senior member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) told daily Hürriyet.

Pandemic, state of war, terrorist attacks, and state of emergency could be included in the code of obligations as force majeure to suspend rental payments, the AKP official added.

Another option is to reduce rental payment amounts significantly instead of suspending them.

Currently, a shopkeeper has to go to a court to demand the suspension of rental payments due to closures imposed by public authorities. But that process can take several months.

On April 2, Turkey reinforced weekend curfews starting in accordance with the risk situation of provinces amid surging coronavirus cases and fatalities. Restaurants, patisserie, and dessert shops can only offer take-away service between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. and online order companies can deliver orders from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Markets, grocery stores, greengrocers, butchers, and dried nuts and fruits sellers remain open between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they are able to do deliveries.

COVID-19, Housing, real estate,