The Federal civil law establishes that, if the lessee is totally prevented from using the leased property as a result of fortuitous event or force majeure, no rent will be charged while the impediment lasts, and if it lasts longer than two months, the lessee may request the contract termination.
In a direct amparo action, relating to a Lease Agreement (the “Agreement”), the lessor pointed out that the decision adopted by the responsible authority was not correct, because although the leased property could not be used derived from the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the civil law does not grant as a benefit to the lessee the release from paying the rent, if the fortuitous event or force majeure last longer than two months.
The fifth Collegiate Court in civil matters of the first circuit interpreted article 2431 of the Civil Code applicable to Mexico City, in relation to the principle of equality contemplated in the Mexican Constitution, in which it determined that the release of the payment of rents has a maximum limit of two months.
Within this period the lessee can claim the termination of the agreement as long as it is due to force majeure or fortuitous event, otherwise, if after two months the lessee does not claim the termination of the agreement, he will be obliged to pay the relevant rents.
The foregoing since the aforementioned article does not benefit the lessee so that he breaches his obligations at any time, but on the contrary, it must be considered that the lessor also has the right to use the property immediately after the expiration of the mentioned term.
Therefore, the Court concludes that if the leased property could not be used, due to some sanitary cause, the benefit granted by this legal provision is that the lessee can terminate the agreement, without the obligation to pay the rent during two months.