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New Code of Practice for Commercial Property

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"As our high streets come to life and our town centres open for business, it is crucial that both Landlords and Tenants have clarity and reassurance as they seek to keep their finances stable and bounce back."

- Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP

The UK Government published the 'Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic' on 19 June, following much uncertainty with the sector resulting from the restrictions introduced to control the outbreak. Both Landlords and Tenants have suffered unprecedented challenges but the extended measures aim to prevent high street business facing eviction over the coming months.

The Code is voluntary and sets out best practice guidelines to encourage Tenants to continue to pay their rent in full if they are in a position to and advises that others should pay what they can, whilst acknowledging that Landlords should provide support if they are able to do so.

The Government also confirmed that the moratorium on forfeiture of leases will now be extended until 30 September which comes as a relief to many businesses as they open to the public again to kick start the recovery of the economy.

The Code applies to all commercial property sectors across the UK from offices, retail and industrial through to hospitality; and can be summarised by four key points:

  1. Transparency and collaboration
  2. A unified approach
  3. Government support
  4. Acting reasonably and responsibly

To conclude, the Code will apply until 24 June 2021 and encourages Landlords and Tenants to be pragmatic in their approach. The key is to collaborative and flexible to minimise the financial impact the pandemic has on all businesses.

If you are a commercial Landlord or Tenant and wish to discuss the Code and how it affects you, please contact our Commercial Property Team for more information.