Distress is a longstanding self-help remedy for commercial landlords faced with non-payment of rent. It is a common law right for landlords to enforce recovery of unpaid rent by entering on to the rented property in order to seize goods belonging to the tenant. If the tenant fails to pay the rent following seizure of its goods by the landlord, the landlord may sell the goods and retain the proceeds of rent in lieu of recovery of the rent from the tenant.
This useful method of securing assets as against unpaid rents is shortly to be abolished in favour of a statutory scheme called Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”). Understanding the new scheme is essential for all commercial landlords, but particularly for landlords of retail and small to medium commercial premises. Benjamin Lomer, of Druces LLP’s Property Litigation team, writes in The In-House Lawyer about the new regime.