11 May 2021 #Commercial Real Estate
It has now been 14 months since we first went into lockdown and the Government released measures under the Coronavirus Act to protect both residential and commercial tenants from being evicted if they had not paid their rent up to date.
There was a lot of speculation whether or not a landlord could pursue the tenant for rent arrears due to the limitations they had faced during the pandemic as many tried to argue that it was an event that could not have been anticipated by either party.
However, we now have some clarity following the landmark case of Bank of New York Mellon v Cine UK Limited and others in 2021 that was recently heard.
The landlords brought a debt claim against the tenants, in respect of unpaid rent and VAT that had fallen due during the COVID-19 pandemic. The defendants were Cine-UK, Mecca Bingo, and SportDirect.com Retail. The landlords made applications for summary judgment for the debts owing.
The courts decided to hear all three cases together and the tenants’ main defence grounds were as follows:
As such, Master Dagnall rejected the tenants’ arguments as he believed the grounds of defence did not show any real prospects of success in defending the claims brought against them.
If you require assistance with any commercial Landlord and Tenant issues please contact our Real Estate team.