The Government has published the Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice in response to the impact of coronavirus on landlords and tenants in the commercial property sector. Covering the whole of the UK, the Code of Practice is intended to advise and reinforce good practice amongst landlords and tenants during these unprecedented times. This is not a legally binding code and ultimately does not change the legal obligations or lease contracts between landlords, tenants and any guarantors.

What is included in the Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice?

The Code of Practice contains provisions designed to further alter the commercial landlord and tenant relationship. These are likely to be more or less attractive depending on your position either side of the landlord/tenant divide. Key provisions include:

  • The Government will pass a statutory instrument to amend the Coronavirus Act to extend the time period for suspension of the remedy of forfeiture from June 30 to September 30, meaning no business will be forced out of their premises if they a miss a payment in the next three months.
  • The Government will also lay secondary legislation to prevent landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 189 days of unpaid rent. The time period for which this measure is in force will be extended from June 30 to September 30.
  • An amendment to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has been tabled which will extend the temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus until 30 September.

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