Further extensions to temporary laws that further protect commercial tenants. The temporary moratorium against forfeiture of a lease for non-payment of rent has been extended by 9 months, until 25 March 2022.
This means that commercial landlords cannot forfeit a business tenancy for non-payment of rent if the non-payment is a result of the COVID-19.
In addition, the government has also extended the temporary restriction stopping landlord from bringing proceedings under the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR). The extension is until 25th March 2022.
When CRAR proceedings are made, it permits landlords to give the notice to pay tenants whose arrears have reached a certain level.
If the tenant does not comply, the landlord can then seize the tenant’s assets and sell them at auction.
Temporary prohibition stopping landlords from using statutory demands against commercial tenants has also been extended again, to 30th September 2021.
Ordinarily, if a landlord serves a statutory demand for arrears and the tenant fails to pay within 21 days, the landlord becomes entitled to petition the court to have the tenant wound up.
Just to add to the above, the government has said it intends to bring new laws that will ring-fence arrears of rent built up during the coronavirus pandemic.
With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, the landlord will need to make allowance for their tenant, for example, agreeing with the tenant to accept a repayment plan or waive part of that amount.
If they fail to reach such an agreement, an automatic, legally binding arbitration procedure will apply, presided over by approved private arbitrators.
There is currently no detail as to the approval criteria for arbitrators, or which factors they will take into account when deciding whether, when, and how a landlord will be allowed to recover all or any of the outstanding rent.
At Adel Jibs & Co Solicitors, we have a great deal of experience in advising all kinds of clients regarding their commercial leases.
DISCLAIMER: the contents of this article and any documents on our website are not intended to constitute legal advice but are intended for general information purposes only. We are not responsible for any loss resulting from acts or omissions taken in respect of the content presented herein. Please see our legal and regulatory information, privacy and terms policy on our website.