In addition to the emergency support measures already implemented for commercial landlords and tenants, as of 23rd April 2020, the Government announced new measures to safeguard the UK’s high street from aggressive rent collection and permanent closures.

The new measures outlined that aggressive debt recovery tactics, such as statutory demands and winding up petitions commenced against companies who cannot pay their bills will be banned during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The protection will come into force under the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill and any claim brought before the courts will be assessed to ensure that the debt recovery procedure brought against a company was not a result of Coronavirus. 

Additionally, the Government has also announced that secondary legislation will be brought forward to alleviate the pressures imposed by landlords utilising the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR). The relief will extend the time limits under the procedure and will only be able to be brought against tenants who owe 90 days or more unpaid rent.

This will be welcomed news to those retailers and other companies facing financial hardships as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, but guarantors and some former tenants and former guarantors may well find that there is nothing in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill or the secondary legislation which will prevent landlords from pursuing them for debts owed by the occupying tenant.

For further advice and assistance in this area, please contact the dedicated Real Estate Litigation team at Myerson Solicitors. 

Call 0161 9414000 or e-mail lawyers@myerson.co.uk.