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Some expats in Chiriqui and other parts of Panama may be facing a rental lease expiring during the current COVID-19 national emergency.

Last May 1st, Panama's President issued an Executive Decree freezing all rents until the coronavirus national emergency ends.  While some Panama attorneys published  summaries of Executive Decree 145, I couldn't find one who explained expiring leases. So, I decided to investigate an answer.

I asked what many consider as the best law firm in Panama, Morgan & Morgan in Panama City some questions about this.

1. What happens to a tenant in a residential lease agreement that expires during the coronavirus national emergency?

2. What happens when the landlord refuses to agree to a new lease or extend the current lease, does the tenant have to move out? 

I got my answer from one of their partners, Ramon Varela. 

He gave a short, but complete answer to both questions by stating: "If the lease expires while the ‘declaración de emergencia’ is in force, the landlord cannot vacate the tenant."

Therefore, all leases remain in effect until the COVID-19 national emergency in Panama ends. Plus, two extra months to negotiate and sign a new lease agreement.

Landlords can't evict the tenant during this time period as long as the tenant pays the rent and utilities on time as specified in the lease agreement.

Thank you Morgan & Morgan law firm for a quick and complete reply.

If you got questions about Executive Decree 145 or about Panama real estate issues you can contact  Ramon Varela directly at: ramon.varela[at]morimor.com

Stay safe and healthy!

Steven Rich, MBA

 

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I hope this legal advice helps expats in Chiriqui dealing with landlords during the current coronavirus national emergency in Panama. 

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