Please note: The information in this blog is correct as of 13:00 on 24/03/2020. As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, government guidance may change and while we endeavour to keep our blogs as up to date as possible, we always advise you speak with a solicitor for specific advice.

The emergency Cornavirus Bill which is currently being pushed through parliament will look to protect commercial tenants from eviction during the pandemic.

The usual terms of a commercial lease allow a landlord to forfeit a lease, and therefore take back possession of the property, should the rent be unpaid for a specified period of time, usually 14 or 21 days. However, if the Cornavirus Bill is passed, any business which is unable to pay their rent on their commercial premises over the next 3 months due to the impact of the Cornavirus will be safe from eviction.

Many landlords have already entered into sensible discussions with their tenants about suspending their rent or using any rent deposits that they hold during this time, however this would provide a further protection for tenants with less generous landlords.

Any landlord who is looking to make a rent suspension should formally document this.

If, however, you are a landlord who has a problem tenant who hasn’t been complying with their lease for a sustained period of time you may want to act now before any such measures come into force. Otherwise, your tenant could look to take advantage of these protections and as landlord, you would be left having to prove that the non-payment of rent was not due to the impact of coronavirus.

The government has not yet confirmed if the proposed legislation would allow commercial landlords to take a mortgage holiday should their tenant be unable to pay their tenant.

Farleys are offering landlords and tenants a fixed fee service to review your lease and discuss options with you, and can help with any issues you are facing as a landlord or tenant in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

We can help with:

For Landlords:

  • Review of your lease and the drafting of a rent concession letter for £400 plus VAT.

For Tenants:

  • Lease review (a review of the lease and the terms) – £400 plus VAT
  • Deed of Assignment and review of a lease for incoming tenant – £500 plus VAT
  • Deed of Assignment and Licence to Assign for an outgoing tenant – £400 plus VAT

Farleys’ commercial property solicitors are here to help. For advice on your individual circumstances get in touch today on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.