Industry Welcomes Clarity as ‘Final’ Deadline of End of March Given; Govt Launches Review of ‘Outdated’ Landlord and Tenant Legislation.
Anthony Lorenz comments on the Government’s decision to extend the moratorium, preventing the eviction of commercial tenants:
“The extension of the Moratorium, preventing Landlords from forcing payment of rent, until March 2021, came as no surprise, as it is essential to prevent the collapse of the retail, leisure and hospitality industry, let alone those occupying offices, and other use classes.
“What is surprising, is the lack of clarity from the Government, on what support there will be for Tenants, when the moratorium is eventually lifted.
“The industry is in turmoil, and now that the Moratorium finally ends in March 2021, unless the Government announce deferred payment directions, most Tenants will face the prospect of having to pay a full year and a quarter in rent, whilst facing a tough trading environment, following the pandemic.
“With expectations of offices working to a 70:30 office v home rule, we cannot return to pre-Covid trading conditions, and after a year of closed doors, the full deferred and future outgoings will not be affordable, for many.
“Wise Landlords need to work with Tenants and compromise, accepting that empty premises may even force breaches, of their own loan-to-value borrowings from their Bankers.
“It’s always been our opinion that the industry must work together in recessions, to keep the tripartite relationships of Tenant, Landlord, and Banker, together , and we are currently advising on 80 such negotiations.
“With most Landlords having a 70% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio with their Banks, significant falls in rents, and property values , mean they will then breach banking covenants, in turn catalysing a property loan, banking collapse.
“Hopefully, all parties, in the spirit of the festive season, will engage in meaningful discussions, and financial settlements, before the Christmas break, so that they all know their positions going into 2021
“The virus affects us all, and Tenants’ survival is in the interests of Landlords, Bankers, and Tenants alike.”
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