Commercial Tenants – Protection from Eviction
As part of measures to support businesses in these difficult times, the Government has announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. Click HERE to view.
This protection will last until 30 June 2020 but the Government has the option to extend the period if needed. The guidance is clear that this is not a rental holiday and all commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent.
It is not clear whether the term “rent” is intended to include the principal rent alone or perhaps also extends to non-payment of other sums, often reserved as rent, such as insurance costs and service charges. Hopefully the Government will provide further guidance on this point.
In any event, it is important to take legal advice prior to engaging in any communication concerning rent arrears with either a landlord or a tenant. There is always a risk of a landlord inadvertently waiving payment of rents as opposed to allowing delay whilst reserving rights to enforce for payment at a later date.
If you are a landlord or tenant of commercial premises affected by any of these issues, we would be pleased to help you.