Real Estate

CONSTRUCTION LAW UPDATE — SUSPENSION PERIOD LIFTED FOR CONSTRUCTION LIENS AND THE RELEASE OF HOLDBACK

On March 20, 2020, the Province of Ontario filed an order in council under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act effectively suspending until further notice all statutory limitation periods, including the limitation periods to preserve and perfect construction liens retroactive to March 16, 2020. However, the inclusion of construction liens in the suspension order proved highly problematic. Read the full article.

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“RESIDENTS ARE IN ISOLATION, HOW CAN WE HELP?”

Unfortunately, due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, it is likely a matter of when, and not if, a resident will test positive, or be placed into isolation for being in contact with someone who has tested positive. As such, corporations need to be prepared. Read the full article.

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OSHA issues COVID-19 case reporting relief for contractors

On April 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued temporary guidance for recording cases of COVID-19 that provides relief to the construction industry. OSHA’s announcement provides certainty to the construction industry and helps contractors focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

Click here to learn more.

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Relief for Taxpayers: Massachusetts Legislature Gives Option to Defer Property Tax Payments

On Thursday, April 2, 2020, as part of its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Massachusetts legislature passed a Bill Providing Immediate Relief to Municipalities & Others During COVID-19 Crisis. This new law provides municipalities with the option to extend the property tax payment deadline from May 1 to June 1, 2020. All interest accumulated between May 1 and June 1, 2020 will be waived. There is some disagreement on whether interest accumulated between June 1 and June 30, 2020 can be waived as well.

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All You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Residential Leases

By Sara Laraichi and Martin Côté, from our Litigation and Real Estate Practice Groups

April 10, 2020 — Designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, and triggering the declaration of a health emergency in Quebec two days later, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all segments of society.

When it comes to matters of residential leasing, there are many adjustments to be made by both landlords and tenants, and this newsletter is intended to provide an overview of the important issues. (This bulletin is current as of April 8, 2020, and does not reflect governmental measures taken or updated after that date.)

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Fladgate’s Top Ten quick fixes – helping you and your business in these volatile times

With the fast moving issues we are all facing along with the added challenge of many of us
working remotely, we have identified a few quick fixes designed to help you and your business get through the day that little bit easier. Our top ten fixes include everything from how and when to use electronic signatures through to how to navigate some of the priority employment issues. Read more..

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As a follow-up to the “rent free period” issue, the Government of the Russian Federation has developed requirements for terms and conditions of deferred payment rent

Now parties can add up the idea of how to exercise the right to defer debt repayment under lease agreement.

In the legal community, it is believed that the deferral applies only to those lease agreements under which the lessee, due to quarantine restrictions, was not deprived of the opportunity to use the leased property for the purposes specified in the lease agreement.

So, according to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dd. 03.04.2020 № 439:

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Possibility of Non-Payment of Lease Rent Due to COVID-19

Amidst the outbreak of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and its consequential countrywide lockdown, shutting down majority of the commercial, industrial and retail activities, the much forgotten ‘Force Majeure’ clause in contracts and leases is now receiving close scrutiny. In simple terms, ‘Force Majeure’ events relieve a party from performance of its contractual obligations, without any consequential breach of the contract, provided such performance is adversely impacted by events outside the control of an affected party such as act of God, natural disaster, war, strike, lockout, epidemic, Government orders, etc.

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Commercial Tenants and Landlords: Navigating through the challenges of Covid-19

The closure of all but essential businesses will inevitably lead to commercial tenants being unable to pay their rent and seeking accommodations to be made by their landlord due to the unprecedented global health crisis.

In Brief

Commercial landlords must confront the reality that many tenants will simply be unable to pay their rent in the coming months due to the complete cessation of their business function.  Eviction is not a feasible solution as, in most instances, there is no realistic prospect of putting in place a new tenancy.  Even if a new tenancy were achieved, it would almost certainly be at a lower rent due to the decrease in market demand.

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Condo Associations Face New Collection Challenges

As if the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic fallout are not enough, the Commonwealth’s efforts to protect consumers and their homes are imposing an additional, unintended burden on condominium associations. To assist residents who are facing severe hardship, the Massachusetts Attorney General on March 27, 2020 issued new regulations restricting consumer debt collections. Unfortunately, the regulations’ broad reach falls too on condominium associations, many of which are struggling with unanticipated costs dealing with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we turn a new month, and delinquencies increase and age, cash-flow planning requires understanding these restrictions.

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