At last we have some clarity on the shape of the statutory arbitration scheme, which deals with the rent arrears – including service charges and interest – built up by businesses forced to close or restrict their activities during the pandemic (“protected rents”).

Continue Reading The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill: more uncertainty for landlords

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered the Autumn Budget for 2021 on 27 October 2021 and draft legislation was published on 4 November 2021 in the Finance Bill. The majority of the Budget announcement were focused on recovering the economy from COVID-19’s impact and preparing the UK marketplace to be competitive in a post Brexit world, with limited changes to the real estate sector.

Continue Reading Autumn Budget 2021: Real estate focused updates

The new month sees a partial re-instatement of the legislation permitting creditors to serve winding up petitions on companies.  However, the UK Government has adopted a softly, softly approach; this is seen from the temporary increase in the amount that must be owed from the modest £750 to £10,000 and the requirement for creditors to seek proposals for payment from a debtor business, giving them 21 days for a response, before they can proceed with winding up action.  The measures are said to protect small businesses as they seek to rebuild their stability.

Continue Reading Winding up petitions: a return to the old normal? Except for landlords

Landlords are increasingly frustrated with tenants who simply will not pay their rent and arrears.  Whilst some tenants are genuinely suffering, there is a feeling that some are using Chancellor Sunak’s moratorium on forfeiture as a budget management tool.

The suspension of forfeiture, a vital weapon in any landlord’s arsenal, is due to end in March 2022 (see “UK Government issues policy statement on Commercial Rent Debts“); Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (the “CRAR”) which is the mandatory form of distress introduced by statute should also end at the same time.


Continue Reading What action can a Landlord take against defaulting Tenants?

The government has launched the Building Safety Bill, which sets out a new regulatory regime for high-rise residential and other in-scope buildings, based on Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, following the Grenfell tragedy. The Bill, which has had its first reading in the House of Commons, will, as currently drafted:

  • establish the Building Safety Regulator within

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

Earlier this year, the UK Government reconfirmed its intention to bring forward residential leasehold reforms following the Law Commission’s recommendations last year. The proposed changes are expected to benefit up to 4.5 million leaseholders.

The news will no doubt be welcomed by leasehold homeowners who have been campaigning for changes to what they perceive to be unfair ground rent laws. However, the impact on developers, house builders and landlords, is less clear, but it is likely to affect the legal structuring of both the ownership and the ongoing management of new residential developments.

In this article, we consider what the proposed reforms are, when they are expected to come into effect and some of the potential implications on developer landlords or investors.


Continue Reading Ground Rent Reform – what’s happening and when?

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