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New government code of practice relating to commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic

New government code of practice relating to commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic
New government code of practice relating to commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Extended restrictions relating to commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new government code of practice relating to commercial tenancies during the COVID-19 pandemic has been put in place, find out more here.

The government announced on Friday 19th June that the protection from forfeiture given to relevant business tenants under s82 of the Coronavirus Act will be extended until 30 September 2020. These measures were originally due to expire on 30 June 2020.

The temporary changes to Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) will also be extended to 30th September, and will also now prevent landlords exercising CRAR unless at least 189 days’ rent is outstanding.

An amendment to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has been tabled which will extend the temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus until 30 September.

Current government interventions, including the moratoriums on forfeiture and measures in England/Wales/Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively, do not undermine or permanently alter the existing legislative framework governing the relationship between tenant and landlord. These interventions are intended to be exceptional, time-limited measures to deal with this unprecedented time of acute market shock.

THE NEW CODE

The new Code of Practice relating to the relationship between commercial tenants and landlords can be found here.

The code is voluntary for businesses and is relevant to all commercial leases in any sector that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It encourages tenants to continue to pay their rent in full if they are in a position to do so and advises that others should pay what they can, whilst acknowledging that landlords should provide support to businesses if they too are able to do so.

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