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Commercial Property Rent Arrears suspension lifted this September

View profile for Usman Anwar
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Businesses have been opening up slowly throughout the summer, but with second waves of the Coronavirus pandemic predicted and local lockdowns threatened it’s still a difficult time for commercial landlords.

In June 2020 the UK Government introduced new measures to prevent commercial property landlords from taking eviction action for rent arrears, such as:

  • Suspension of landlord re-entering the commercial property and terminating the lease for rent arrears until 30 September 2020. 
  • Suspension of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless rent arrears remain unpaid for 189 days.
  • Voluntary code of practice for landlord and tenants to resolve rent arrears and other issues.

Such measures allowed commercial property tenants to breathe a sigh of relief. However, rent still needs to be paid to the landlord.

Whilst businesses are now slowly starting to re-open across the Oldham borough and the UK Government has been gradually easing the lockdown across the country, locally we have seen some setbacks for our social meetings, for now businesses remain unchanged.

So what steps can a commercial property landlord take to recover rent arrears?

  1. A claim in the County Court against the tenant for rent arrears;
  2. A claim in the County Court against the tenant’s guarantor (where appropriate) for rent arrears;
  3. Charge interest on the rent arrears. This depends on the terms of the lease.
  4. Draw down of the rent deposit. This depends on the terms of the rent deposit deed.

Usman Anwar, a solicitor specialising in Property Litigation at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers has this advice for local businesses: “The UK government acted quickly to introduce measures to support businesses such as: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, deferral of VAT payments, loans to support businesses and all this should help facilitate income for businesses and in return allow tenants to pay rent to landlords.

“It may be the UK Government extends the suspension for commercial property rent arrears for a further period. Either way we are happy to assist Commercial Property landlords and tenants to resolve disputes or to just give some general advice.  Now for struggling landlords and Edge businesses we can consider providing legal advice on a deferred payment scheme, depending on the terms of the lease.”

For advice on any aspects of commercial litigation or any landlord and tenant issues contact Usman Anwar on 0161 785 3500 or email enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.