Relief for Landlords: COVID-rents - Kuits Solicitors Manchester

Relief for Landlords: COVID-rents

Relief for Landlords: COVID-rents

13th May 2021 - Published by Kuits Commercial Property team

Whilst the Government backed Code of Practice for Commercial Property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged landlords and tenants to come together to negotiate affordable rental agreements, it is a voluntary code and does not change the underlying legal relationship as documented in the Lease between the landlord, tenant and any guarantor.

The recent case of the Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd and others v Cine-UK Ltd and others reinforced that the existence of the Code does not prevent landlords from making a claim for rent arrears. Other lines of defence to rent arrears raised by the various tenants in this case included the following:

  1. the standard rent cesser on damage and destruction of premises were, by implication, triggered by the pandemic;
  2. the lockdowns were frustrating events meaning that leases should be terminated; and
  3. landlords have insurance cover and so their remedy for any unpaid rent should be against their insurers.

The outcome

All lines of defence were rejected by the Court and it was found that landlords are not restricted in making a claim for rent arrears; the key takeaway from this case for tenants is that rent remains payable. It should however be noted that restrictions on enforcement still remain and are currently scheduled to end on 30th June.

Get in touch with a landlord and tenant lawyer today

If you are a landlord and would like advice on collecting rent from tenants, or a tenant that has been threatened with proceedings, please contact Senior Associate Emma Nimmo in our Commercial Property team on 0161 838 7821 or email emmanimmo@kuits.com.

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