COVID-2019 is a new strain of coronavirus that emerged in central China at the end of 2019 and continues to spread around the globe. The COVID-2019 outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is already having a major effect on international commerce. As the outbreak expands in the United States, commercial real estate owners and property managers should be well prepared to monitor and address concerns impacting the industry as a result of the virus.
The typical commercial lease and property management agreement does not address viral epidemics. The duties and obligations of a landlord or property manager regarding limiting tenants' and guests' risk of exposure to the virus depends on what services, if any, the landlord or property manager provides at the property. In a net leased property where the tenant is responsible for its own maintenance and cleaning services, the landlord's public health obligations would be limited. However, a landlord or property manager who provides cleaning, janitorial and security services such as in a commercial office building or shopping center, should consider implementing the following operational recommendations:
Holland & Knight attorneys in the following areas are well versed in addressing issues related to COVID-19:
If you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects on the commercial real estate industry, please contact a member of Holland & Knight's Real Estate Practice, including Partners Kelly Bagnall or Christopher Camarra.
To learn more about how COVID-19 is affecting the hospitality sector, see Holland & Knight's alert: "Coronavirus/COVID-19: Considerations for the Hospitality Industry."
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis. Please contact the author or your responsible Holland & Knight lawyer for timely advice.
Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult competent legal counsel.
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