September 29th is rent quarter day, and no doubt commercial landlords throughout the UK will be watching their bank accounts closely to see whether they will be lucky enough to be paid by their tenants, or whether they will once again be subject to accumulating rent arrears as a direct consequence of the ongoing pandemic.
A report in the Guardian on Saturday stated that commercial landlords are expected to miss out on £4.5bn in rent between mid-March and the end of the year, and the impact of this on commercial landlords cannot be underestimated with particular regard to matters of ongoing solvency and general business viability.
Where tenants are struggling financially, commercial landlords can no longer expect rent to be paid on time or in full, and with the government encouraging agreement between parties in respect of the same (e.g. rent reductions, rent holidays, payment plans) and limiting the enforcement options available to landlords in respect of non-paying tenants, it is clear that commercial landlords are likely to be adversely affected by the pandemic for an extremely long time.
The financial pressure being placed upon commercial landlords during the pandemic cannot be underestimated. Rent arrears and debts are mounting, and so far the government is yet to provide any financial assistance whatsoever to help commercial landlords weather the storm. It is difficult to see how this story ends…
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.