In these difficult times, one thing has returned to “normal”: landlord and tenant law. In case anyone was unaware, the statutory moratorium on landlords enforcing against rent arrears ended on 23 September 2022.
In fact, ALL of the government restrictions on the enforcement action that landlords can take, and the changes in the law that were in force at that time, have now ended.
The only small exception is that in an opposed lease renewal under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, where the landlord opposes on the basis of persistent delay in paying rent (Ground B of Section 30(1)), a landlord can’t rely on rent that was late during the pandemic to oppose the tenant getting a new tenancy. But that’s it. That is unlikely to affect many landlords or tenants.
Please note that the rent due from the pandemic period is still payable unless:
- The landlord or, more usually, the tenant has started a Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 arbitration, when it might not be; and
- If you have an agreement with your landlord or tenant (which needs to be in writing) that the rent or part of it is not payable.
- If you have started a rent arbitration under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022, then that will continue. But no new arbitrations can be started now under that legislation.
It seems unlikely that there will be any changes in the law for the next few years (as there were in the pandemic) involving landlord and tenant law. This is despite the current economic climate of uncertainty, high inflation, and all the rest of it. So we are permanently back to “normal” law in what do not appear to be very normal times. But as we are back to “normal,” if you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial property, it is worth thinking about the following, if you haven’t already:
- What type of lease is in place?
- Is the lease protected?
- When does it run out?
- What am I going to do when it does?
- When is the next rent review?
- Have I received any legal notices or letters from the landlord or tenant?
- Do those notices or letters have deadlines on them?
- Do I need to take any action about those deadlines? (If it is a deadline, the answer is going to be ‘yes’!).
- Is the landlord or tenant threatening legal action (or have they started legal action)?
- Is the tenant allowed to sublet the unit, or sell the lease, or terminate the lease? How do I do it?
- Is the tenant allowed to change the type of business I am doing, and what permission do I need to get from the landlord?
- What works can the tenant do and what permission does the tenant need to do them?
- Does the landlord have to do any repairs?
- …And any other issues that you have, like service charge demands or access.
Setfords is here to help with these problems.
I will be happy to have an initial no-obligation chat. I work at a preferential rate for GOTA Members.
Disclaimer: Michael Large (Consultant Solicitor) and Setfords make no warranty of any kind with respect to the accuracy of this article, and are not responsible for any actions (or lack thereof) taken as a result of relying on or in any way using information contained in it. Readers should take specific advice from a qualified professional when dealing with specific situations.
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