Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill
On 9 November 2021, the Government published the white paper on the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill, the most notable provision of which is the imposition of compulsory arbitration for Commercial Landlords and Tenants. This bill is set to be passed in March 2022 and Commercial landlords will need to take legal advice on the implications of the same.
It is not yet clear how the arbitration process will work in practice. However, in the meantime and as suggested in a previous blog on the topic, commercial landlords and tenants would be minded negotiate any rent arrears dispute by agreement and without recourse to arbitration or the courts.
Restrictions on forfeiture
The moratorium preventing landlords from forfeiting a lease on the basis of non-payment of rent is set to expire in March 2022. Whilst this does provide Landlord’s with another remedy through which to claim possession, the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill will operate to cover rent arrears accumulated during the ‘Protected Period’. Therefore, care will need to be taken to ensure the provisions of this bill are followed, before considering forfeiture proceedings and indeed whether forfeiture is an available remedy.
Energy Efficiency Standards
As with residential lettings, commercial landlords also need to be aware of the change to energy efficiency standards. As set out in the Energy White Paper, in order to combat the climate crisis, commercial landlords seeking to lease their properties will be expected to achieve as a minimum, an EPC rating of B by 1 April 2030. This marks a significant increase on the current minimum rating of E. We are yet to see how this will work in practice, or indeed how it will be enforced. However, commercial landlords may be minded to take the necessary steps to ensure their properties comply with these standards, well in advance of the proposed 1 April 2030 cut off.
In summary, both residential and commercial landlords are likely to see greater regulation in 2022 and the coming years, both on the condition of their properties and the terms on which they can let, or terminate leases over the same. Therefore, landlords should seek the necessary advice, either from legal or other professionals, to ensure ongoing compliance with these changes.
How we can help
Hanne & Co’s Property Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department have extensive experience in assisting residential and commercial landlords on a number of contentious matters. Should you require advice on any of the matters raised above, or any other landlord – tenant dispute, please do get in touch with our Property Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department on +44 (0) 207 228 0017 and we will be happy to assist.