“Force Majeure” occurs when an emergency that is unforeseeable at the time of the contract makes the performance of the contract objectively impossible.
Sometimes, a contract contains the Force Majeure clause (“FMC”). Literally “force majeure” translates from French as a “superior force.” According to Black’s Law Dictionary, force majeure is defined as “An event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled”. Force majeure clauses allocate risk between the contracting parties if performance becomes impossible or impracticable because of an unforeseen event.
The most common unforeseen risk currently is the catastrophic economic harm caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Legal options available for San Diego tenants
A San Diego tenant may need assistance with lease modifications or help to obtain a deferment agreement with a residential or commercial landlord. In most cases, a landlord should be willing to work with a tenant, especially if there is a government-mandated closure of business at the property, whether temporary or indefinite.
Normally, a landlord may hold a tenant to the term of the lease but that may not be enforceable if the lease is deemed impossible to fulfill due to unforeseen government closures amid emergency health conditions.
A landlord should be willing to enter into a deferment agreement whereby your monthly rent is deferred until a later date until you are able to pay. This is an optional approach that can assist you in reaching a resolution with your landlord over any difficulties that your business is having paying rent and to remain in the property established by your business goodwill as conditions improve.
Call Gallagher Krich APC at (858) 926-5797 to explore your legal options, or to request a deferment from your San Diego landlord, our legal services include a downloadable form for $250.00. You will need to include your information such as your lease address, tenant names, landlord’s name and address, the start date, end date of the lease, lease term and monthly rent.