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COVID-19: Commercial landlords banned from aggressive rent collection

Commercial landlords

The UK Government has announced further temporary measures to safeguard commercial tenants from aggressive debt recovery actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which imposed a temporary ban on the right of a landlord to forfeit a commercial lease for non-payment of rent until the end of June 2020.

Statutory demands and winding up petitions

Through changes to the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, the UK Government will prevent commercial landlords from exercising all statutory demands issued between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 20. The extended measures will prevent landlords from using commercial rent arrears recovery, or sending in bailiffs, unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

The UK Government stated:

“Any winding-up petition that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. The law will not permit petitions to be presented or winding-up orders made, where the company’s inability to pay is the result of COVID-19.”

The UK Government has urged landlords and tenants to work collaboratively to try and agree a way forward that is acceptable to both parties.

For more information please read the full press release.

If you need specialist advice, guidance or support from our team of legal experts, please email property@loosemores.co.uk or call us on 02920 224433.

Please contact James Pearn, Partner and Head of Property at Loosemores or Oliver Morris, Commercial Property Solicitor to find out more.

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