It is clear that many commercial tenants - especially those in the retail sector for all too obvious reasons - have not paid rent due on 25 March, given the temporary ban on lease forfeiture included in the Coronavirus Act . But some are clearly mindful that the Act does not of itself create a rent holiday during the crisis. Nor does it prevent any interest due under the lease terms from accruing on unpaid amounts.
When the restrictions in the Act are lifted, landlords will be at liberty to pursue the usual means of recovery from those tenants who might reasonably be expected to meet their rental obligations. Where real hardship exists, it would be preferable for landlord and tenant to discuss whether formal reductions or other concessions can be documented to meet these challenging circumstances.
Landlords and agents told Property Week that while some of the high street’s most successful businesses, including Greggs and McDonald’s, paid their rent in full, most pushed for concessions. Some have requested rent holidays while others have asked to defer payment or pay monthly in arrears.