In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government passed emergency legislation in March that prevents tenants from being evicted due to missed rent payments.
It was initially introduced in England and Wales for three months and set to end on June 23rd, but has now been extended to August 23rd. This means court possession claims will not be heard until late September at the very earliest.
With job losses and reduced wages expected to affect rent payments, this is welcomed by concerned tenants but troubled landlords will undoubtedly be reviewing their options.
Advice for landlords
It should be noted that notices can still be served where necessary and the validity of current claims is not affected -although evictions will not happen until after the ban ends. Once notices have expired (which won’t be for three months) landlords are able to issue Court claims. These will then sit in a queue of cases to be heard once the stay ends, and a large backlog is anticipated. Additionally, more changes are expected to be made to help the court in protecting tenants who have been directly affected by coronavirus.
The Government strongly recommends landlords and tenants to work together during these difficult times. Research by the National Residential Landlords Association has shown that almost half of landlords have received a request for help from their tenants, and 90% of them found a positive solution. ‘Mortgage holidays’ have also been made available to support landlords who are taking a financial hit from the pandemic.
If you are a landlord whose tenants are struggling, you may consider flexible payment plans, temporary rent reduction or rent-free periods. It is advisable to seek legal advice before finalising such arrangements or making changes to any tenancy agreements to protect yourself should any issues arise. In instances where pursuing eviction is the only option, consulting a solicitor to review your position is highly recommended as soon as possible to help you navigate these uncertain times.
For expert legal advice, get in touch on 02392 98 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Acting for land owners or property developers in relation to both residential and commercial development projects
- Advising on the structure and content of the legal documentation associated with the sale and acquisition of development sites
- Negotiating section 106 planning agreements
- Negotiation of option agreements and conditional planning agreements
- Plot sales / disposals
Landlord and Tenant
- Advising landlords and tenants in relation to the taking of and the grant of commercial leases of all form of commercial property
- Dealing with subleases of commercial premises
- Dealing with ancillary leasehold documentation such as licences to alter, change of use or licence to sublet
- Advising in relation to variations of leases
- Advising in relation to agreements for leases including development obligations
Real Estate Finance
- Acting for lenders or borrowers in relation to the taking and granting of security over all forms of commercial property
- Acting and advising borrowers in relation to obligations in standard security documentation issued by both corporate and individual lenders
- Perfecting a lenders security over the property at the Land Registry and Companies House
- Dealing with commercial remortgages
- Dealing with variations to existing security or substituted security
- Acting for liquidators, administrators in bankruptcy in the sale of all forms of commercial property
- Acting on and dealing with the sale of property under the Proceeds of Crime Act
- Acting for buyers of commercial property from liquidators, administrators and trustees in bankruptcy
- Acting for sellers or buyers of all forms of commercial investment property
- Advising on the due diligence to be undertaken in connection with the acquisition of investment premises
- Advising in relation to the VAT and TUPE implications arising out of an investment transaction
- Advising buyers in relation to their ongoing liabilities under the individual leases
- Advising on the property aspects arising out of the sale and purchase of businesses
- Advising on the nature and extent of property warranties included within the legal documentation
- Advising and dealing with obtaining the necessary consents for the transfer of any leasehold premises as part of the corporate transaction
Property related Pension Schemes
- Acting for pension providers and individuals in relation to property related pension scheme arrangements
- Advising pension companies in relation to the legal structure of property related schemes
- Carrying out appropriate due diligence in relation to the property aspects of a pension scheme
- Advising on and dealing with issues arising out of the transfer of assets from one pension fund to another
Sales and Acquisition of Commercial Property
- Acting for sellers or buyers in relation to the sale and acquisition of all forms of commercial property