COVID-19 & Tenant Protection

By Louis Mancini

Commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to the Coronavirus pandemic will be protected from eviction.

Many commercial landlords have already been working closely with their tenants by offering rent deferrals or holidays to help mitigate the impact of Coronavirus. Significantly, formal measures have now been put in place. The Government has announced that commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to Coronavirus will not be evicted if they miss a rent payment within the next three months.

The legislation ensures that landlords will not be able to exercise any right of forfeiture on their tenants if they are unable to pay their rent when falling due within the next three months.

This measure is included within the emergency Coronavirus Bill that is currently going through Parliament and will come as a welcome relief for business owners renting commercial premises, with the next quarter date being 25th March.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak provided that businesses need support at this time and “that is the reason why we are taking steps to change the law so that no company can be forced out of its premises due to loss of income”.

Commercial tenants will however still be liable for any missed rent at the end of this three month period as the legislation only delays a landlord’s right of forfeiture or right to recover rent. The Government has acknowledged this and have committed to actively monitor the impact on commercial tenant’s cash flow and keep in constant dialogue with them.

If you are a commercial tenant or landlord, and wish to know more about how this development might affect you, please contact the Commercial Team at Goughs via commercial@goughs.co.uk.