01 June 2020 #Real Estate
On the 29 May, the Government announced that it intends to publish a new code of practice to give clarity and reassurance to high street businesses and landlords over rent payments.
A working group has been established by the Government with the commercial rental sector to develop a code of practice which will encourage fair and transparent discussions between landlords and tenants over rental payments during the coronavirus pandemic and guidance on rent arrear payments and the treatment of those that are sub-letting and suppliers. It is hoped that this will enable collaboration and cooperation within the sector and help ensure that ‘no one part of the chain shoulders the full burden of payment’.
The code will be temporary in nature, but the Government will explore options to make it mandatory if necessary. The code is expected to be published before the next quarterly rent payment date of 24 June 2020.
The code forms part of a number of measures introduced by the Government to support the high street/commercial rented sector including:
The code has been welcomed by many in the commercial property sector as a ‘positive first step’ which will allow both tenants and landlords to work constructively to ensure that otherwise viable businesses are not forced into administration. It is also recognised that many property owners and tenants are already working well together, effectively engaging and agreeing sustainable plans and as such the code of practice will provide an opportunity to ‘codify this good practice’.
However, the recovery of the economy and the high street will need a united approach and all sides must be prepared to do more if necessary to ensure that businesses in distress as a result of coronavirus are supported, to in turn protect people’s jobs and our communities.
If you would like advice about how to document concessionary rent arrangements, please get in contact with our Real Estate team who will be happy to help.