Lawyers call on Verkhovna Rada to Settle Lease Relations for the Quarantine Period: 5 Key Remarks

2020-04-21

KYIV - April 21, 2020. The UBA Committee on Real Estate and Construction sent an open appeal to the Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Budget Yuriy Aristov and the Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Economic Development Dmytro Natalusa with a call to improve the Law No3279-d.

Thus, upon analyzing the Law in detail, lawyers drew attention to a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed immediately. Including:

1. Regarding paragraph 14, which supplemented the Final and Transitional Provisions of the CCU on the settlement of the possibility of exempting the lessee from payment for the use of property during the quarantine period. Changing the legal regulation of the same sphere of public relations in less than two weeks calls into question the principle of legal certainty in the conduct of the parties, in particular, regarding the lease of property.

2. The same paragraph 14 provides reduction in payment for the use of property due to impossibility of its use for the period of quarantine measures. The Committee's experts stressed that so far most of the institutions that hire employees have decided to transfer them to remote work, even in the absence of a direct instruction in the Cabinet's decision to establish quarantine. At the same time, the Law does not answer whether the restriction of traffic, for example, can be considered a measure that prevents the use of leased property in full. This point remains debatable.

3. According to the UBA lawyers, the non-extension of this paragraph of the new wording to the lease of property belonging to the territorial community "is a violation of the principles of equality of participants in civil relations, reasonableness and justice."

4. The wording "from the moment of quarantine introduction" may give rise to disputes over the operation of the Law in time. We would recall that the quarantine was established on March 12, when Law № 3279-d had not yet been adopted.

5. The law does not take into account the cost of maintaining the property. "Compared to utilities, these costs are usually higher”, the text of the open appeal reads.

Finally, lawyers are convinced that the adopted changes do not eliminate the existing problems in the legal regulation of lease relations during quarantine. This, in turn, can provoke litigation between property owners and tenants.

The text of the open appeal is available by the link.

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