One relationship that is likely to be affected during this lockdown period is that of landlords and tenants of commercial spaces in Kigali.

Tenants of commercial buildings that are required to stay closed may wonder whether they are still contractually obliged to pay rent to their landlords for the period that they have not been able to access the premises

As with many legal questions, the answer is not very straightforward. For guidance, it is imperative to consider the positions of the law governing contracts and the tenancy contract.

The Law governing contracts in Rwanda recognizes that there are certain circumstances beyond a party’s control that make it impossible for the party to perform its obligations (a force majeure event). According to the law, the consequence of a force majeure event is that neither party to the contract is liable for failure to perform its obligations where the failure is caused by the force majeure event.