Exasperation for commercial landlords but relief for tenants as the Government alters the rent arrears landscape again
A new Code of Practice now applies to arrears negotiations between landlords and tenants for those arrears that accrued during the pandemic. The Code will be joined by the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill now before Parliament, which sets out a new binding arbitration process. Crucially, for pandemic-related arrears landlords will be prevented from using debt claims and bankruptcy petitions, CRAR will once again be banned, forfeiture for non-payment will remain unavailable and drawing down rent deposits will no longer be permitted. While negotiation remains the buzzword, it is clear that the Government intends to fully protect tenants until agreement is reached or arbitration concluded, and to dissuade landlords from taking action now.