Your tenants still need to pay rent!

21st September 2020 Commercial Litigation

Both tenants in commercial and residential properties still need to pay the rent which is due to you, notwithstanding the effects of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Yes there are restrictions in place which prevent landlords from taking certain action to take back possession of the property and from ‘sending the bailiffs’ in, but this does not mean that tenants do not have to pay the rent which is due.

I have come across a number of situations recently where tenants (and worryingly a solicitor) in both commercial and residential property thought that their landlord was unable to recover rent arrears because of the restrictions imposed by the Government over the last 6 months. This is incorrect. Where there is a debt, you can issue a claim at Court for these to be paid and obtain a judgement against a tenant in arrears. I have done this twice in the last couple of months and have recovered the arrears in full, which has also focused the mind of the tenant in respect of their ongoing obligations.

Of course it is not always appropriate to pursue rent arrears in this way in the current climate, but landlords need to be aware of their options and should absolutely consider this in response to some tenants who are unreasonably taking advantage.

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Richard Glover is a Partner located in Manchester in our Commercial Litigation department

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