Further extension on the moratorium against forfeiture of commercial leases

15 December 2020
  • Philip Angell Director of Property Management Cooke & Arkwright

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The Government has announced a further extension on the moratorium against forfeiture of commercial leases as a result of non-payment of rent due to Covid-19. This has now been extended for the third time until 31st March 2021 and this also prohibits statutory demands and winding-up petitions. The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) has also been extended to 31 March 2021

Philip Angell, Director of Property Management comments, “At the end of this period, commercial tenants would have had this protection for a year and many landlords will feel aggrieved that tenants, albeit a minority, who are able to pay their rent are not doing so. 

“On the positive side for landlords, the Government has stated that this will be the last extension and so they are only kicking the can down the road until 1st April.

“The continued rise in debt by some tenants will have to be addressed at some point and I am not sure that this announcement does either party many favours in the longer term.  The Government is understandably concerned about tenants, particularly in the retail and hospitality sector, but I would suggest that the prospect of landlords forfeiting a large number of leases and taking properties back to re-let them in the current retail market would be fairly unlikely.

“The Government also announced that they are to review “outdated commercial Landlord and Tenant legislation” in the New Year, although there is little detail as yet on what this review will focus on.”

Mansford has expanded its investment portfolio over the last few years. Over this time Andrew West has provided us with a full rating valuation service which has involved giving a view on liabilities prior to acquisitions, as well as conducting negotiations with Valuation Officers on our UK estate. The portfolio includes a wide range of properties from shops, offices and pubs to major leisure schemes. He has been particularly successful in mitigating our liabilities to empty property rate, which has been an issue on acquisition prior to implementing our development and letting strategy. I have no hesitation in recommending Andrew's expertise in rating valuation for all property types. The profile of property within his portfolio and the successes achieved are testament to his position as an extremely accomplished rating practitioner.

Leopold Hall, Partner, Mansford LLP