Amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation
The Emergency Decree N° 70/2023 amends several sections of the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation (hereinafter, the CCCN).
a) Foreign currency
All contracts may be entered in any kind of foreign currency. The debtor will only be released by delivering the kind agreed upon. Unless expressly stipulated, the creditor is not obliged to accept payments in national currency. Judges may not modify the form of payment or the currency agreed upon by the parties (Sections 765 and 766 of the CCCN).
b) Private contracts
Under amended Section 958 of the CCCN, the parties are completely free to enter into a contract and agree on its content. All legal rules are supplementary to the will of the parties unless the provision is expressly imperative, and always with restrictive interpretation.
Under the new Section 960 of the CCCN, judges may not modify the stipulations of a contract “ex-officio”. Only may judges do that either at the request of one of the parties or when authorized by law
d) Civil and commercial leases
The Decree repeals certain specific laws about leases (Law N° 27221, and Law 27551), and amends and abrogates certain Sections of the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation (hereinafter, the CCCN).
Some of the changes to the lease regime are:
(i) The parties may agree on the currencies to pay the rental fee, even in any foreign currency;
(ii) To adjust the price of the lease the parties may use any index. In the event the agreed-upon index is not longer published during the term of the agreement, it will be replaced by a similar official index published by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, or in the country issuing the foreign currency of payment.
(iii) The term of the leases will be the one agreed upon by the parties. Failing to establish any term:
- For temporary rentals, the term must be that established by the uses and customs of the place where the rented property is.
- In lease contracts for permanent housing, with or without furniture, the term of the lease will be 2 years.
- For other purposes, the term of the lease will be 3 years.
(iv) Anticipated termination of the contract by the lessee is allowed by paying ten percent of the balance of the future lease fee, calculated from the date of the notice of termination until the termination date agreed in the contract.
(v) The lessor may terminate the contract for the causes attributable to the lessee regulated in the contract, in addition to the cases governed by Section 1219 of the CCCN.
Mario E. Castro Sammartino
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