The emergency coronavirus bill, which is currently going through parliament, includes measures to allow commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus to be protected from eviction. This follows similar provisions for residential tenancies announced last week (19 March).
This is a positive move for struggling retailers and leisure businesses in particular, since the next quarterly rent day is on 25 March. However, it could potentially have a significant impact on landlords who are contending with problems in their own balance sheets.
The provision will only be a delay, it will not affect a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture or recover rent after the three-month period ends. The government said it will monitor the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and “continues to be in dialogue with them”.
The government said many landlords and tenants are already reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments which are imminently due.
It is important that landlords speak with their tenants to understand their ability to pay rent which will allow them to plan accordingly. In addition, it is important that landlords are being proactive, have some well thought out plans in place and seek advice and assistance as soon as possible using the new government measures available.
The emergency bill also includes new announcements to ensure that Business Improvement Districts (BID) are equipped to continue their vital role in managing the impact of the crisis on local economies and helping town centres and high streets recover. To ensure no area loses its BID at this critical time, emergency legislation will allow a delay to ballots between now and 31 December 2020 until March 2021.
This information is correct as of 25 March 2020. This blog is for general guidance only. Recipients should not act upon any of the information provided without seeking specific professional advice tailored to your circumstances, requirements or needs. Please contact PM+M before making any decisions based on any matters relating to this blog.