The past six months have seen significant changes for almost all businesses in the UK as a result of Covid-19. Following the closure of most high street units and many offices between March-June, those businesses which have now reopened are trading under very different arrangements and face restricted operations for some time to come.

In line with the swift action taken by government in March and April to alter certain rules which usually apply to the commercial landlord and tenant relationships, further changes have recently been announced which will continue to affect the remedies available to landlords until the end of 2020.  These include:

  • Removing forfeiture as a remedy for arrears
  • Other "breathing space" measures such as delaying the availability of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery ("CRAR")

There is currently a ban on winding-up petitions for coronavirus-related debts in place until the end of September but we await further announcements as to any extension of that arrangement. 

The government code of practice remains in place to communicate "best practice" in discussions between landlords and tenants concerning arrears.

We appreciate the importance of landlords and tenants having a clear understanding of their legal position during this difficult time, particularly with the September Quarter Day looming. With that in mind, we have brought together our most recent guidance on the issues here and some points of interest:

Forfeiture moratorium:  Click here for all you need to know about the further stay on business tenancy terminations. 

Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR):  As the amended CRAR Regulations come into effect, click here  for the detail on those restrictions and the latest on the proposed legislation to confirm the additional tests for winding-up petitions. 

Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID 19 pandemic:  The voluntary code encourages landlord and tenant co-operation, read our latest insight here.

Corporate insolvency changes: what do they mean for landlords and tenants?  Read our insight here outlining the headline provisions from the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act including the new moratorium available to companies who need breathing space and more detail about the temporary restrictions on winding up petitions. The latest changes – including to extend the duration of these restrictions - are covered here.

Real Estate:

  • Retail Recovery: Real estate and adapting business premises: Our Retail Recovery Podcastexamines real estate and adapting business premises.
  • What have the restrictions on commercial landlords' remedies during COVID-19 meant in practice? This episode of our Property Patter Podcast  considers what the restrictions on landlords' remedies introduced by the Government to protect commercial tenants during COVID-19 have meant in practice.
  • Real Estate Retail Repurposing:  Read about our Real Estate Retail Repurposing Hub highlighting the opportunities for investors and developers in times of significant change

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.