COVID-19: Update for commercial landlords and tenants

During these uncertain times we understand that landlords and tenants may be unsure as to what they can and cannot do.

As a tenant, do you have to still pay your rent if your business is closed? As a landlord what can you do if you’re not receiving any rent and you want to take steps to terminate the lease?

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (the Act) came into effect from 26 March 2020 has provided clarity regarding what can and cannot be done.

Tenants who cannot pay their rent because of the coronavirus are protected from eviction (forfeiture) between 26 March and 30 June 2020.  Tenants are however still liable for the rent, so it is important that landlords and tenants communicate with each other. The landlord may otherwise take steps to recover possession after 30 June (unless this is extended by the Government).

More widely within the commercial sector, the Government has banned the use of statutory demands (between 1 March and 30 June 2020) and winding up petitions (between 27 April to 30 June 2020) against companies that cannot pay their bills because of the coronavirus. This will help ensure these companies do not fall into deeper financial strain.

A new code of practice is due to be published by the Government regarding what happens after 30 June 2020.  

At Temple Heelis, we deal with a range of commercial property matters for both landlords and tenants. For a free initial consultation, please contact Laura Bright, Richard Moore or John Sim.