SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Commercial tenants who have been hit hard by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have gained new rights to ask landlords to reduce rent.
The legislation and judiciary committee of the National Assembly passed a revision of the Commercial Tenant Protection Law on Wednesday.
Under the revised law, the circumstances under which tenants or landlords can ask for rent reduction or increase were modified from ‘change in economic conditions’ to ‘change in economic conditions including those caused by the spread of COVID-19, which is classified as a first-grade infectious disease under the Infectious Disease Prevention Act.’
In other words, the revised law clears the way for small businesses and self-employed people who were hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 to ask their landlord to lower their rent.
The revision, however, does not include any provision that compels landlords to accept tenants’ request for rent reduction.
In addition, landlords who accept a tenant’s request for rent reduction can later ask for the rent to be increased.
The revision includes a special provision that prevents landlords from cancelling contracts or rejecting the renewal of contracts even if rent payments are in arrears for six months.
The existing Commercial Tenant Protection Law had a provision that allows landlords to cancel contracts or reject the renewal of contracts if rent payments are more than three months late.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)