Commercial property update

The Government announced last week that further help has been provided to struggling businesses and to support the high street firms in these difficult times.  The Coronavirus Act passed earlier this year suspended forfeiture of commercial tenants failing to pay their rents until the 30 June.  This has now been extended to the 30 September 2020 to prevent businesses being forced out of their premises.  In addition to this, further legalisation is being set down to prevent landlords using the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, unless 189 days of rent is unpaid.  The period of time in which this measure will remain in force is also extended from the 30 June to 30 September.

To tie in with this measure, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will extend the temporary ban on using Statutory Demands and Winding-Up Petitions if a company is unable to pay its bills due to the Coronavirus, until the 30 September 2020.

These announcements will be a further welcome break for the tenants, especially in light of the easing of the lockdown measures announced by the Government this week, allowing many tenants in the leisure and hospitality industry to reopen in July, subject to the guidance that remains in place for those openings.  Whilst this is reassuring to tenants, landlords will no doubt continue to feel frustrated in not being able to recover rents due to them pursuant to the terms of the leases and it is hoped that those landlords are able to work together with tenants to ensure that all businesses remain viable, where possible.

These measures will work along side the Code of Practice for the commercial property sector recently released by the Government.

If you require advice in relation to any commercial property matters, please contact either James John, Anthony, Natalie Walford or Eve Panayides of our Real Estate team or Nicola Stewart of our Dispute Prevention & Resolution team.

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