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Covid-19 outbreak and lease agreements - eviction request rejected by the Court

According to the decision issued on 30 July 2020, the Court of Catania rejected in first instance (during the so called “fase di convalida”) the request for eviction brought by the landlord against a tenant in arrears with regard to the rents due from March to June 2020 (arrears accrued during Covid-19 outbreak). The decision was grounded on article 91 of the Decree “Cura Italia” whereby "compliance with containment measures provided for under this decree (i.e. the containment measures due to Covid - 19 outbreak) is always evaluated for the purposes of excluding, according art. 1218 and 1223 of the Italian Civil Code, the debtor's liability, also in relation to the application of forfeitures or penalties, if any, connected with delayed or omitted fulfilments".

In effect, according to the Judge such provision may affect the assessment of the seriousness of the tenant's default and the latter can be considered "justified" considering the measures adopted to contain Covid -19 outbreak during the period March-June 2020.

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