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Commercial landlords, tenants - the Coronavirus Bill

26th March 2020

Commercial landlords, tenants - the Coronavirus Bill

The Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on 25 March. For commercial landlords and tenants, the effects of the Act include the following:

  • landlords will not be able to forfeit, whether by peaceable re-entry (changing the locks) or otherwise for unpaid rent until at least 30 June 2020 (the ‘relevant period’). This applies whether or not the failure to pay is related to the effects of Covid-19. The restriction will not affect forfeiture on other grounds. It only applies to unpaid rent. There is still some uncertainty as to whether it applies to leases of less than six months
  • the obligation to pay rent is not suspended. Unless a landlord gives “an express waiver in writing”, landlords will still be able to forfeit for the unpaid rent after the relevant period expires
  • landlords’ rights to use the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) procedure, to serve a statutory demand, or issue debt proceedings remain unaffected by the Act. However landlords may face practical difficulties in taking enforcement action
  • where forfeiture proceedings are ongoing, courts will not be able to order a tenant to give possession before 30 June. Where orders have already been made requiring possession before 30 June, tenants will be able to apply to court to delay having to give possession until after that date
  • in any opposed lease renewal relying on ground (b) (persistent delay in paying rent which has become due) any failure to pay rent during the relevant period is to be disregarded.

There are many pressures on commercial landlords and tenants at this difficult time and we are here to help in any way we can. 

If you would like to discuss any of these issues in more detail, you can contact:

Nyree Applegarth on 07595 657733 or nyree.applegarth@higgsandsons.co.uk

Paul Barker on 07703 821 970 or paul.barker@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

 

 

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Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Email: law@higgsandsons.co.uk
Call Us: 0345 111 5050

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