1. American couple renting unfurnished apt in Yerushalayim. Rental contract ends July 1, 2020 and the couple were planning to move back to USA at end of lease. They own all the furniture in apt.
Tenant left earlier than original plans to leave for Pesach vacation, immediately after Purim, as afraid of Israeli skies closing.
Once in USA, before Pesach, the couple decides they don’t want to return at all because until they know when they can get back to E. Israel, not worth it.
Do they owe rent until end of lease? Due to Corona? Remember, their furniture and belongings are still in apt.
2. What about an American couple that signed a lease in Jan. Before corona, and the lease was starting April 1st. They never even came to E. Israel yet so never lived in apt. They did not pay rent yet but they did buy the furniture in the apt. So although they theoretically did not start lease yet, their “personal belongings – furniture” are sitting in the apt. Do they have to pay rent starting April 1?
Regarding your first question, please sse the following article, where Horav Y. Fleishman shlit”a deals with this issue. https://dinonline.org/2020/05/01/acharei-mos-cancelling-a-rental-agreement-because-the-renter-cannot-occupy-the-property/
Regarding the second question, things are a little better. Since you didn’t live in the apartment, R’ Fleishman holds that since it is a machlokes, if you already paid the rent, that the landlord choose not to give the money back, but it would be a good idea to work something out with him. If you didn’t yet pay the rent, then you would have the right to either cancel the contract and move your stuff out of the apartment, or you can discuss with the landlord to give you a reduction since you are only using the apartment as storage.
Here are some other articles that R’ Fleishman has written on monetary issue that arise due to the Corona virus.
Have a good Shabbos