Understanding the property owner’s perspective and interests will help you negotiate. If the property owner has a mortgage, the loan covenants may require the property owner to have the bank approve any lease modification.
Many small businesses are in a similar situation due to the coronavirus crisis and property owners are likely worried that they will not receive any rent. In addition, because many small businesses have to temporarily close and people are isolating themselves, it will likely be very difficult for property owners to find new tenants. Given a choice between an empty space and working with a good tenant who has a good business, the property owner may be willing to agree to a short rent-free or rent-reduced period until a successful tenant can pay full rent again. Property owners may also want to avoid the legal costs of terminating a lease and pursuing a personal guarantee in these times of economic uncertainty. As a result, property owners may be open to negotiation, even if they would only receive a partial payment now. They may be willing to take a risk that you will be able to make up the payments once you reopen.