Starting from 29th September 2020, the number of days’ rental arrears required before landlords can take any action under the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery scheme (CRAR) has increased. This is due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, and has been put in place as a measure to protect tenants.
Under normal circumstances, CRAR allows landlords of commercial properties to recover rent arrears by taking control of their tenant’s goods and selling them. And, the according the original procedure, the outstanding rent required before a landlord could use CRAR was 7 days. That number was initially increased under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to 189 days.
Now, however, where notice is served up to 24th December 2020 there must be a minimum amount of outstanding rent equal to 276 days. From 25th December 2020 this will further increase to 366 days’ worth of unpaid rent.
The government has also extended the moratorium on forfeiture – which prevents landlords from repossessing commercial premises if businesses are unable to pay their rent due to the coronavirus pandemic – to 31st December 2020. Whilst the moratorium applies, however, landlords can still charge interest on rent arrears at the rate specified in the lease.
For more information please contact Julie Farrell-Knowles, Alderson’s head of residential conveyancing, at JulieFarrellKnowles@aldersonlaw.co.uk.