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Legal protection tip: Business conflicts

In recent months, most shops had to close temporarily because of the coronavirus outbreak – and some are now in dire financial straits. But even in exceptional times and emergencies, solutions can be found that make sense for all parties – a lawsuit is not always the only option.

7 August 2020, text: Tobias Mani, photo: Unsplash

Hairdresser Salon
With Helvetia’s legal protection insurance, companies enjoy cover in various fields of the law and for legal disputes.

Angela N., who runs a hairdressing salon, was experiencing real hardship when she called Coop Rechtsschutz for help in late March. The measures imposed by the federal government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to shut down her hairdressing salon from one day to the next. She was able to apply for a short-time working allowance for her three employees. But how was she supposed to pay her monthly rent of 4,050 francs without any income?

Her landlady was prepared to extend the payment period and presented her with a corresponding agreement. But it also included a clause acknowledging Angela N.’s obligation to pay the rent, which is why Coop Rechtsschutz advised her against signing it. Based on the documents submitted, it became apparent in a personal talk that the rental payment wasn’t the only problem: the entrance to the salon was not adequately protected against the weather.

Coop Rechtsschutz informs you of your rights

Coop Rechtsschutz informed Angela N. of her rights. But she wasn’t happy with the idea of having a lawyer represent her interests. After 20 years in the same district, she had built up a broad customer base and didn’t want to risk burning her bridges with her landlady. So, she met with the latter – without a lawyer, but after receiving a thorough briefing from Coop Rechtsschutz.

A pragmatic solution for all parties

Angela N. was able to convince her landlady that rapid clarification of the rental payment obligation was crucial to the survival of her business. But the legal situation was extremely unclear and as yet no uniform line from the courts on pandemic-related cases. A decision by the supreme court or a political solution to the problem could be a long time coming – and time was of the essence in the current situation. She also drew her landlady’s attention to the lack of weather protection at the shop entrance.
As the two had enjoyed a conflict-free rental relationship for years, the landlady ultimately saw her way to reducing the rent by 80% during the lockdown period – a very gratifying result outcome for Angela N.

The agreement prepared by Coop Rechtsschutz was signed the next day. The hair salon’s survival was secured and calm restored to the rental relationship between the two parties.

Legal protection insurance for businesses

With Helvetia’s legal protection insurance, companies enjoy cover in various fields of the law and for legal disputes. Businesses are assured of comprehensive and professional protection, from advice through to compensation. They receive support from the specialists of our partner Coop Rechtsschutz AG or from a lawyer of their choice.

Helvetia waives rent for small companies and self-employed persons

Small businesses and the self-employed have been particularly hard hit by the federal government measures. Helvetia provided these tenants with fast, pragmatic support in recent months by waiving a portion of their rent.

More about Helvetia as a landlord

Coop Rechtsschutz – Tobias Mani

Coop Rechtsschutz is an independent partner of Helvetia. Tobias Mani is a lawyer and works at head office in Aarau. His areas of specialization include employment and tenancy law, and general contract law cases.

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