Real Estate 27. March 2020

Poland: Poland’s shopping malls to close?

27. March 2020
|
Marek Wojnar
|
act legal Poland

A draft amendment to the COVID-19 Act has been published on the Polish parliament’s website today. The full version of the document is available here.

Based on this draft, article 15ze of the Act, which provides for a 90% rent discount for entities whose operations in large retail centers have been restricted, is supposed to be replaced with a new provision, according to which the obligations of parties to lease agreements or other similar agreements (under which retail space is let for use) will expire for the period of restrictions applicable to malls with a sales area of over 2,000 sqm. Additionally, this provision entitles tenants to submit a proposal for extension of the lease term by six months; in case such proposal is not delivered, it will be assumed that there has been no temporary expiration.

As specified in the statement of reasons to the draft amendment, “it is now forbidden or substantially less profitable (due to a drop in the number of customers) to conduct operations in large shopping centers. Hence, lease agreements should expire temporarily, so that lessors and tenants are not obliged to perform their contractual duties which generate costs for the parties while restrictions are in force“.

Both the provision itself and the statement of reasons indicate that the lawmaker’s goal is for all lease agreements in large retail malls across Poland to “expire temporarily.”

It is unclear if parties that want to continue their operations in shopping centers will be able to enter into settlement agreements based on which leases could remain in effect despite the statutory “temporary expiration.”

Given the implications arising from failure to submit an extension proposal (which should be submitted within 3 months of the ban lifting date, rather than now), it might be challenging to determine whether lease agreements are in effect as of now (and to handles a range of related processes, such as invoicing).

Contact us in case of any questions.

***
|
Marek Wojnar
|
act legal - BSWW legal & tax
About the authors

Marek Wojnar

Managing partner

Marek specializes in real estate, construction, corporate law, M&A, and acquisition/sale of aircrafts and yachts. He has vast experience in real property sale and acquisitions, leasing processes and implementation of infrastructure (energy and motorway) projects. Marek has worked on a large number of projects for IT and telecommunications companies, while at the same time providing legal advisory services related to cooperation with start-ups. He also has a long track record of transactions involving the sale, chartering and lease of planes, helicopters, yachts and superyachts. He co-heads the firm’s Italian Desk, assisting a number of Italian clients in Poland and Polish clients that run their business in Italy.

Marta Kosiedowska

Partner

Marta specializes in real estate law and advising clients on capital transactions (private M&A) and purchase of luxury yachts. Having represented both buyers and sellers, Marta boasts vast experience in share deals, asset deals and advisory on the sale of business units of enterprises. Marta is an experienced lawyer in real estate transactions. She has assisted Strabag with a number of such deals (including acquisition of several plots in downtown Warsaw). She has also worked with Immobel, Icon Real Estate and Kulczyk Silverstein Properties. Marta has consulted on the purchase of luxury yachts (esp. deals with Italian shipyards, related to M/Y Jurata, M/Y Gatto, M/Y Flying Dagger), representing Polish and international clients in negotiations and execution of shipbuilding contracts.

About act legal Poland - BSWW legal & tax:

Superior quality, competitive service by yielding small teams oriented solutions tailored to the specific needs of clients.

BSWW legal & tax

www.actlegal.com