The Government announced on 23 March that commercial tenants impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be protected from eviction for non-payment of rent. The Emergency Coronavirus Bill, being passed in parliament this week, will introduce a suspension of the ability to take forfeiture action for commercial leases until at least 30 June 2020, even if they miss payment(s) of rent.
Regardless of whether non-payment of rent is directly as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak the suspension measures are applicable to all leases under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. They do not, however, affect a landlord right to forfeit for any other breaches of lease terms.
It is important to understand that any rent due during this emergency period is only deferred and is not providing a rent holiday for tenants who will remain liable for rent after the suspension period. It is also important to consider that this suspension period can also be extended, so landlords and tenants must monitor the situation.
A significant number of tenants, particularly in the retail and leisure sectors, are approaching their landlords with proposals for sharing the rental risk and reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments due for the second quarter of this year. Other tenants will be requesting reductions in rent, deferred payments of rent and even re-gearing of the lease terms to take these matters into consideration.
BTF Partnership can advise on all types of commercial property ownership and management including solutions and advice in regard to the issues being faced above. If you have questions pertaining to this above information, please get in contact with either: