Commercial buildings are empty but still require maintenance – The Globe and Mail

Yan A. Besner

Apr 22, 2020

A recent article in The Globe and Mail looks at the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the commercial real estate sector, including the daily routines required to care for commercial buildings. As author Jennifer Lewington reports, property owners and managers are “rewriting their playbooks to protect buildings now and prepare them for reoccupancy after an all-clear signal from governments.”

With buildings in enforced “hibernation,” as one industry official puts it, the legal obligations of landlords and tenants are unchanged, Yan Besner, a partner in Osler’s Real Estate Group tells The Globe and Mail.

“You need to make sure you keep the property on proper life support so that when things go back to normal, whatever that new normal may be, that the lights can be proverbially turned [on] again without a hitch,” says Yan. Property owners and tenants with buildings in multiple provinces, he adds, need to fulfill their respective contractual obligations while keeping abreast of virus-related government directives.

“Hopefully, there is going to be a lot of good-faith understanding between both sides coming out of this,” he says. In that respect, effective communication is key in managing the current disruption.

For more information, read Jennifer Lewington’s full article, “Commercial buildings are empty but still require maintenance” in The Globe and Mail.