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Commercial landlords: our Real Estate team offers guidance on dealing with tenants in these unprecedented times.
As a commercial tenant, you’re safe – for now. However, the forfeiture moratorium under the Coronavirus Act 2020 is not a rental holiday. Unless you’ve agreed alternative arrangements with your landlord, your rent still falls due under the terms of the lease.
The effects of the unfolding coronavirus crisis on commercial property occupancy have been nothing short of seismic.
Pubs, restaurants and leisure centres across the country have closed. While not expressly told to close by the Government until 23 March, most retailers had already followed suit. All these businesses, along with many corporate occupiers – and their landlords – are feeling the pressure and grappling with the uncertainty.
When unmarried cohabitees separate, a key issue is often jointly owned property and what should happen to it. One of the most common options is to ask the court to make an order that the property is placed on the open market and sold. However, the recent case of Kingsley v Kingsley confirms that alternative outcomes are possible.
Last week the Insolvency Service announced the disqualification of Jane Hipkin Russell of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, an estate agent who had failed to comply with her obligation to protect tenants’ deposits.
The Law Commission has published its eagerly awaited proposals on their options for reforming the law on valuation in the acquisition of the freehold of leasehold properties and lease extensions.
The Law Commission was tasked with exploring options to reduce the cost of lease extensions and freehold purchases. This not only has legal implications but also political implications as by making the process cheaper for leaseholders, freeholders could lose out.
Legal restrictions on the amounts that landlords and agents can charge in the way of fees to their prospective tenants come into force on 1 June 2019. The changes are designed to prevent unscrupulous landlords and letting agents from charging huge sums to tenants when they are entering into a tenancy agreement. Landlords and agents can now only charge for the rent, the tenancy deposit and a holding deposit. Tenants can not be charged for referencing, checking an inventory or administrative fees.
A significant announcement had been made by Theresa May bringing about a consultation for a major shakeup on what was the more recently termed as ‘no-fault evictions’.
Today sees the brand new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 coming into effect in England, which will create even further repair obligations on residential landlords and give tenants yet more protection. This amends the existing Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requirements, and means that landlords will have to expend far more effort (and money) into maintaining properties for their tenants.
Commercial landlords have received some welcome certainty with regards to Brexit. The High Court has ruled that tenants will not be able to use Brexit as an excuse to break their lease.