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Iain is a partner in the Real Estate practice of the London office. His experience covers a wide variety of commercial property work, including property development and finance, corporate transactions, property management for investment funds and general transactional work. He has been ranked as "an associate to watch" by Chambers UK 2015 and gains praise from notable clients. He has recently assisted in a number of large investment transactions.

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As previously reported (“Commercial property evictions ban extended until 25 March 2022“), on 24 June 2021 the UK Government extended the moratorium on landlords evicting commercial tenants for non-payment of rent during the pandemic under s82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 until 25 March 2022. Similarly, the restriction on the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR), which prevents landlords seizing a tenant’s goods in lieu of rent unless the tenant has more than 554 days’ of rent arrears, was extended until 25 March 2022. The restriction on the serving of winding up petitions based on a statutory demand under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 was also extended until the 30 September 2021.
Continue Reading UK Government issues policy statement on Commercial Rent Debts

The Government has announced that new legislation will be introduced in this Parliamentary session to ring-fence outstanding commercial rent arrears built up by tenants due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to introduce measures to guide tenants and landlords to come to an agreement on how to deal with the money owed, either by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan. If agreement cannot be reached, the new legislation will put in place an arbitration process to make a formal award that will be legally binding and must be adhered to by both parties.

Until these new rules come into force the existing measures to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended from 30 June 2021 to 25 March 2022. The Government has also extended the restrictions on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent to 25 March 2022 as well, which increased the total number of days’ outstanding rent required for CRAR to be used to 544 days. Statutory demands and winding up petitions will also remain restricted for a further 3 months until September to protect tenants from enforcement action where their debts relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extensions will apply to all businesses, but the new measures introduced by legislation will only cover those businesses impacted by closures. This means that rent arrears accumulated before March 2020 and after the date when relevant restrictions on trading are lifted, will be actionable by landlords as soon as the tenant protections are lifted.  There is no restriction introduced on landlords suing for rent arrears as a simple debt claim.


Continue Reading Commercial property evictions ban extended until 25 March 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences have had a turbulent effect on the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in the UK. Government regulations in response to the pandemic have required tenants to close their premises to the public for long periods of time, causing profits to plummet, whilst landlords have been faced with rent ceasing to be paid and few remedies remaining available to them due to Government restrictions prohibiting leases being brought to an end by forfeiture for non-payment of rent and preventing the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions based on non-payment of rent until summer 2021.

There has been particular dispute and discussion as to upon whom (landlords, tenants and/or insurers) the burden of the financial detriment caused by the pandemic should fall. For this reason, the recent judgment in Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd v Cine-UK Ltd and others [2021] EWHC 1013 (QB) is important as it tackles head-on the thorny issue as to whether rent remains due and payable by tenants of commercial premises in spite of the circumstances of the pandemic.


Continue Reading Commercial rent arrears payable despite COVID-19 pandemic

There is just over a week left to participate in the Government’s consultation on the withdrawal or replacement of the protections it has put in place to protect commercial tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 6 April 2021 the Government launched a consultation calling for those involved in the commercial property sector to participate in a survey on what should happen when the current restrictions placed on landlords come to an end on 30 June 2021. The consultation is open to all those with an interest in commercial property and will end at 11.45 a.m. on 4 May 2021.

Continue Reading Government consultation on withdrawal of moratorium on evictions ends on 4 May 2021

The Government has confirmed that it will be renewing the measures it introduced to protect tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commercial tenants benefit from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent. This measure was due to expire on 31 March 2021, and despite the Government confirming in December 2020 that this would be the final extension to protections from the threat of eviction, the Government has announced that the restriction on forfeiture will in fact be extended until 30 June 2021.

The Government has also renewed the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent, which was due to expire on 31 March 2021, but has now been extended until 30 June 2021. This measure will increase the total number of days’ outstanding rent required for CRAR to be used to 457 days if CRAR is to be used between 25 March and 23 June, increasing to 554 days’ if CRAR is to be used between 24 and 30 June.  It is not yet clear whether the Government will extend the measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 restricting the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions which is due to expire on 31 March 2021.


Continue Reading Commercial property evictions ban extended until 30 June 2021

The UK government has confirmed today that it will be renewing the package of measures it introduced for tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending the moratorium on forfeiture and the restrictions on issuing statutory demands and winding up petitions from 30 June until

There has been much discussion of late around the effect of COVID-19 on leases, focusing in particular on the non-payment of rents by tenants and the limitation on the landlord’s usual arsenal of options for non-payment. As the lockdown eases and tenants prepare to return to their premises, there are likely to be other lease

As the June quarterly rent day looms, the government has announced it is set to publish a new code of practice to support high street landlords and tenants. The code is said to be designed to provide “clarity and reassurance” over rent payments by encouraging “fair and transparent” discussions between landlords and tenants. It also