Our team successfully represented a company in Lithuania owned by the W. P. Carey fund in a legal dispute with Kesko Senukai Lithuania. Kaunas Regional Court found that the DIY company Kesko Senukai Lithuania had wrongly failed to pay rent for a logistics centre in Kaunas district to W. P. Carey fund’s company.
The court ruled that Kesko Senukai Lithuania must pay the sum owed (EUR 537,517), as well as 6% procedural interest, to our client.
Case law-forming court ruling
The court found that the logistics centre was fit for use during the disputed period, March–May 2020, and ruled that the landlord was not responsible for the tenant’s inability to use the leased premises.
The court’s decision is important in that it may shape the practice of how commercial property leasing relationships will be assessed during pandemics.
Kęstutis Adamonis, the Sorainen partner representing the client, comments: “The court ruled that the tenant’s right to request a rent reduction can be exercised only if the site is defective, not when tenant’s activity in the site is restricted. This interpretation is important in assessing the responsibilities of a landlord and a tenant in a commercial property leasing relationship. During quarantine, the physical properties of the real estate sites did not change; they could and in many cases were used for their intended purpose. The fact that the tenant’s activities were restricted or limited by the Government did not affect the properties of the real estate, so the obligation to pay the rent did not change”.