The impact of Corona Virus (Covid-19) on Lease Contracts in Kuwait ‎

The world has been swept by the pandemic of the emerging Corona Virus (Covid-19 in recent months, which has killed thousands of people in various countries and is still infecting thousands. Precautionary and preventive measures to limit virus spread and infection spread among residents of each country.

As part of these precautionary and preventive measures, the government decided to impose a movement ban on citizens, either partially or completely, as well as suspending work in government departments such as the courts and judiciary sector, reducing working hours in some commercial activities such as malls, and closing some commercial activities that lead to gatherings such as cafes. Restaurants, sports clubs, meeting and event spaces, and so on.

This had a negative impact on economic activity and a decrease in the movement of buying and selling, causing institutions and establishments to be unable to meet the rent value owed to them. The following question arises.. Do these facilities affected by the emerging Corona virus crisis have the right to ask lessors to reduce or waive their rent during the precautionary measures period?

The novel coronavirus pandemic is one of the exceptional circumstances specified in Article 198 of the Kuwaiti Civil Code, which states: “If, after the contract and before its completion, exceptional general circumstances arise that could not have been foreseen at the time of its conclusion, and their occurrence results in the implementation of the emerging obligation.” If it does not become impossible, it becomes burdensome to the debtor to the point where he threatens him with a large loss. After weighing the interests of the two parties, the judge may reduce the burdensome obligation to a reasonable extent, either by narrowing its scope or increasing in exchange for it, and any agreement to the contrary is null and void.

The Kuwaiti Civil Code, in Article No. 581, allows the lessee to request the termination of the lease contract or a reduction in the rental value if the public authority makes decisions within the limits of the law that result in a significant decrease in his use of the leased property. The lessee has no right to seek compensation from the lessor unless the decision is The public authority has been issued for a reason for which the landlord is responsible, unless the agreement between the landlord and tenant requires otherwise.

It is clear from this that Kuwaiti law allows establishments, commercial establishments, offices, factories, and health clubs that have been completely disrupted and closed due to precautionary measures taken to limit the spread of the Corona virus, to demand that landlords cancel the lease contract, waive rent, or reduce the rental value owed to them during a crisis period.

As for the activities that were partially disrupted but were not closed except during the curfew period, such as shops, groceries, restaurants, food activities, pharmacies, exchange offices, and other activities, the tenant may not request an exemption from the rental value because he benefited from the rented property, except that the tenant has the right to request a rent reduction if he proves that the ban resulted in him being overburdened in paying the rent.

If you are looking for a Kuwaiti law firm that specializes in providing legal services to the securities, capital and stock market activities, you can count on us at Taqneen, Law Firm and Legal Consultations.

To book an appointment or request legal advice about the duties of securities companies in the optimal implementation of clients’ orders, we are pleased to receive your inquiries at (