On April 13, 2020 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine amended the legislation regarding lessees’ rights to demand a reduction of rental rate for the quarantine period.
The following new provisions have been established until the quarantine is terminated:
1. Payment for the use of immovable property shall be reduced at the request of the lessee throughout the entire period when the property could not have been used in full because of the restrictions imposed.
2. The amount of payment shall be agreed upon by the parties to the lease agreement. However, the maximum amount of payment may not exceed the aggregate amount of expenses that the lessor has made or will have to make in the relevant period for land payment, real estate tax payment, utility costs (in proportion to the rented space).
3. If the lease agreement already stipulates that the lessee pays the specified expenses on his/her own, then in that case additional amounts of rent are not paid.
Similarly to other countries around the world, Ukrainian anti-competition law gives the regulator wide discretionary powers allowing it to shape its own law-application practice. On the one hand, this is required due to the special features of the functions the anti-monopoly authority is entrusted with because in case of excessive detailing and regulatory bureaucratisation of the approaches applied by the AMCU, its operations will lose the required efficiency. On the other hand, discretionary powers by default pose a risk of potential abuse by the authority and violation of the rights of the business, in particular, due to the lack of predictability and legal certainty.
Considering the above, judgments rendered by courts in cases where decisions made by the AMCU following the review of violations of competition laws and regulations are challenged take on outstanding importance. The court practice gives both the Committee and the business an opportunity to understand which approaches and measures applied on the market are admissible and legal, and which are not. In this publication I suggest reviewing some most recent judgments that are important for the understanding of an approach taken by courts when adjudicating competition disputes.