Published 07/30/20 – By Melissa Sevier
Significant attention has been directed at residential tenants’ inability to pay rent due to their sudden loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. While perhaps less highlighted, commercial tenants’ loss of business revenue during this health crisis has also substantially impacted their ability to pay rent. Many Virginia businesses have been ordered to cease – or at a minimum restrict – their operations thereby eliminating or impeding their income stream. Numerous businesses are now closed completely because their operations cannot be conducted in compliance with social distancing standards, while others have chosen to close for the safety of their employees. The Washington Post reported on May 8th that the D.C. metro area continued to see high numbers of fatalities and new infections. The hope that the pandemic would be short-lived diminishes daily. This brief article will outline the rights, responsibilities, and options of commercial landlords and tenants in Virginia during the COVID-19 pandemic.