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Expert Insights

22 December 2020

Need to Know: Dealing with 2020’s December Quarter Day

This year has seen significant changes for almost all businesses in the UK as a result of Covid-19. Following the closure of most high street units and many offices between March-June and during Lockdown 2.0, those businesses which have now reopened are trading under very different arrangements and face restricted operations for some time to come.

Following the swift action taken by government in March and April to alter certain rules which usually apply to the commercial landlord and tenant relationships, the remedies available to landlords remain restricted until the end of March 2021.  There is also the prospect of further long-term changes for the commercial property world, as the government has announced that it intends to undertake a review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation during next year.  This will include consideration of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, different models of rent payment and the impact of COVID-19 on the market.

The restrictions on the remedies usually available to landlords of commercial property have been extended until 31 March 2021 and include:

  • Removing forfeiture as a remedy for arrears
  • Other “breathing space” measures such as delaying the availability of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”)
  • A ban on winding-up petitions for coronavirus-related debts

The government code of practice remains in place to communicate “best practice” in discussions between landlords and tenants concerning arrears.

We appreciate the importance of landlords and tenants having a clear understanding of their legal position during this difficult time, particularly with the December Quarter Day looming. With that in mind, we have brought together our most recent guidance on the issues here and some points of interest:

Forfeiture moratorium: Click here for all you need to know about the further stay on business tenancy terminations. 

Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR): As the amended CRAR Regulations come into effect, click here for the detail on those restrictions. 

Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID 19 pandemic: The voluntary code encourages landlord and tenant co-operation, read our latest insight here

Corporate insolvency changes: what do they mean for landlords and tenants?  The restrictions on winding- up petitions have been extended until 31 March 2021 – see here For a reminder of the headline provisions from the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act – which introduced a new moratorium available to companies who need breathing space - read our insight here

This page is updated quarterly, if you have any questions, would like to discuss any aspects of this update further or receive future quarterly updates please contact Emma Humphreys or Laura Bushaway, or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys advisor.