See below for a high level overview of the options available to a commercial landlord when its commercial tenant is in arrears of rents. The position is different for residential leases.

Whilst not a debt enforcement tool, we would mention that the Government has introduced the Code of practice for the commercial property sector, which aims to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses. However, the Code is only voluntary and therefore lacks teeth, but it can be used to support constructive discussions about structuring rent debts.

The legislation introduced in light of COVID-19 has significantly reduced a landlord’s options and, for all intents and purposes, taken away (albeit temporarily) the majority of a landlord’s arsenal which it can use to either leverage a recovery or take possession of its premises.

This area of law is quickly changing so this note may quickly become out of date. As such, it is very important that clients should seek independent legal advice if faced with any of these issues and take strategic counsel on its options at the earliest opportunity.

Knights plc’s Property Litigation Team are specialists in this area and are well placed to assist clients who are facing difficulties.

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For further information regarding the issues raised here, or for more specific advice, please contact a member of the Property Litigation team.