Paying rent during COVID-19

The obligation to pay rent during the pandemic is an issue the courts are grappling with. Quebec Superior Court Justice Peter Kalichman acknowledged that Quebec retailer Groupe Dynamite’s  ability to use certain leased premises to operate its stores was “severely limited by the Covid Restrictions.”

However, Justice Kalichman held that “where leased premises are occupied by a debtor and cannot be leased to anyone else, the landlord is not prevented from demanding immediate payment of rent regardless of whether or not the debtor is carrying on business.”

Or as law firm McCarthy Tétrault points out, the debtor is not relieved of the obligation to pay post-filing rent when it is asserting a right to sole possession of the premises and has not disclaimed the lease.

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