Today is April Fools Day, but it is also the day on which most companies have to pay their rent. I spoke to over 50 entrepreneurs over the past 2 weeks and a common question is whether they have to pay rent. The answer in most cases is yes. You have to look at the specific terms of your lease to determine if you have a contractual right not to pay rent. Speak to your lawyer.

In all likelihood, your only recourse is to speak to your landlord and ask for a concession. Many landlords have been offering a month or two of rent free, including most of the major co-working spaces (they typically have month to month arrangements). Landlords don’t want leases to be in default as it could put them in default of their mortgage financing. Some landlords have waived rent all together, while others have reduced rent. The waived or reduced rent could be tacked on at the end of the lease in some fashion.


In my experience, it is best to talk to your creditors (including your landlord). Tell them your situation and ask them if they can assist you. This is where your negotiating chops will come in handy.

It goes without saying that you should talk to your lawyer before you do anything so you clearly understand your position.