The rebus sic stantibus clause follows the thesis that all contracts are subject to a clause according to which the entire contractual relationship depends on the concurrence of certain circumstances at the time of its conclusion, although this clause is not expressly mentioned on the contract.

The Supreme Court determined that the requirements for the application of this clause are as follows:

  1. Extraordinary alteration of the circumstances at the time of to meet the contract in relation to concurrent circumstances at the time of their signature
  2. Exorbitant disproportion between the services of parties that conclude with an imbalance between these benefits.
  3. Emergence of unforeseeable circumstances at the time of conclusion of the contract.

In addition, the jurisprudence has been unanimous on what these requirements should be interpreted in a very restrictive, reason by which the application of this clause has been very limited.

However, following the judgment of 15 October 2014, the Supreme Court has softened its application since at present “this figure is a must casuistry application, the requirement for a specific and differentiated technical foundation and its functional specificity in the context of the causal efficacy of the business relationship arising from its contractual unpredictability and rupture of the economic base of contract, with consequent hardship for the contractual party concerned”.

In particular, the judgment deals with the situation of economic crisis given that “the current economic crisis, profound effects and prolonged economic recession, it may be considered openly as a phenomenon of the economy capable of generating a serious disorder or mutation of the circumstances”. Thus, economic crises, usually cyclical, are outside the scope of control of the contractor.

It is noteworthy that in the case that gave way to the judgment of 15/10/14 ruled that the landlord had to reduce the rent the tenant by 29% for balance of benefits between the parties.