President Carlos Alvarado summoned to extraordinary sessions the project “Special law of payment of leases and subleases of housing and commercial premises for national emergency, declared by COVID-19” (File No. 21,927), presented by 27 legislators.
This project is the product of the work, discussion, analysis and consensus of different fractions that make up the leasing work table.
The goal is to find a settlement between the landlord and the landlord, as a first instance. If this is not possible, it proposes to regulate, on an exceptional and temporary basis, the payment of leases and subleases of homes and commercial premises, seeking a balance between the parties.
The Minister of Housing and Human Settlements, Irene Campos Gómez, thanked the deputies who make up the leasing work table “for the hard work of analysis and conciliation of a bill that helps the most vulnerable people, but that also create a balance between landlords and tenants, whether it is housing or commercial premises.
“I want to congratulate the deputies for the consensus reached in this text,” he stressed, noting that “the agreement is sought above all between the parties and to protect all the families that are being impacted by the crisis caused by COVID-19” .
This project responds to exceptional and temporary measures, for which a period of three months is established for the exceptional payment arrangement.
It is based on the fact that the lessee requesting the payment arrangement must prove his condition of affectation by the COVID-19 pandemic and is based on the principle of solidarity towards the most vulnerable people, without exposing the lessor, who will be able to recover the sums owed, also generating greater security of payment for the latter.
In the case of commercial premises, the impossibility of paying the rent would be related to the loss of the merchant’s income, due to a sanitary declaration issued against his commercial premises, or to a clear decrease in business sales.
After the emergency, the tenants will be able to recover the quotas stopped from being received in a reasonable period, prevailing the relationship between the parties, so that the tenant will always receive what he agreed with his debtor.
The term of the payment arrangement agreed between the parties, whether for the lease or sublease of housing or commercial premises, will be in force for three months, from the entry into force of the law.
In the event that the lease or sublease contract, whether for a home or commercial premises, ends due to the expiration of the term or for any other reason, before the totality of the installments are canceled, the lessee will be obliged to pay the entire pending amount upon leaving the property, except by mutual agreement.
The security deposit may respond according to current regulations.
On the other hand, the initiative proposes that during the period of validity of the law, the judicial and administrative authorities will not be able to execute evictions due to the emergency of COVID-19. Once the deadline has passed, the suspended evictions will be reactivated.
This provision does not apply in those processes already established in the Courts of Justice, with cause prior to the start of this emergency.
To solve the controversies, differences, disputes or claims that could derive from the subscription of the payment arrangement stipulated in the law, both the lessor and the lessee may go to the Houses of Justice Program of the Ministry of Justice and Peace. The procedure and all the proceedings that are processed before the Houses of Justice are free.