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“The Government also announced that they are to review “outdated commercial Landlord and Tenant legislation” in the New Year, although there is little detail as yet on what this review will focus on.”

The Leekes Retail and Leisure Group have substantial property assets within the group and have engaged Andrew West to appeal against rating assessments on these properties since 2010. We have consistently been impressed by Andrew's knowledge of the property market and his negotiating skills have been exceptional. Given Andrew's outstanding performance, we would not hesitate to recommend Andrew to any business large or small seeking to appeal their rates liabilities.

Mike Fowler, Group Finance Director, Leekes Group