US mall giant sues Gap over unpaid rent during pandemic


  • The US’s largest mall operator filed a lawsuit against Gap Inc. on Tuesday, alleging that it had not paid more than $65.9 million in rent and other charges over the past three months. 
  • According to The Real Deal, which was first to report the news, the lawsuit stated: “The amounts due will continue to accrue each month, with interest.”
  • Simon Property Group is among the landlords in the US to have been squeezed by the pandemic as some retailers have refused to pay rent as stores remained closed. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Simon Property Group, the US’s largest mall operator, filed a lawsuit against Gap Inc on Tuesday for allegedly not paying more than $65.9 million in rent and other charges. 

According to The Real Deal, which was first to report the news, the lawsuit stated that Gap Inc had failed to pay rent during the months of April, May, and June 2020. “The amounts due will continue to accrue each month, with interest,” the lawsuits stated, according to The Real Deal. 

Business Insider reached out to Simon Property Group, its lawyers, and Gap for comment but did not immediately hear back.  

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Gap was being sued by another of its landlords for a store near Times Square in New York where it had allegedly not paid rent in April and May. Gap had reportedly racked up a bill of over $530,000 in charges of rent, water, and snow removal.

This is a common issue in the retail sector at the moment. Landlords around the US are being squeezed by the crisis as retailers that were forced to close stores choose to shift the burden of expensive rents. 

The general consensus amongst landlords has been that there is no reason that they should abate the rent or that the responsibility should entirely fall on them, so in some cases, they have offering rent deferral as the fairest solution.

In a call with investors after reporting its first-quarter earnings results in May, David Simon, CEO of Simon Property Group, said that the company had offered rent deferral to some of its tenants but did not specify which ones. 

“Knowing the extraordinary changes that this pandemic has created…we went out of the way to offer deferral for a lot of our retailers,” Simon said. “We just felt it was the right thing to do.”

He added that the “bottom line is we do have a contract and we do expect to get paid.”

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