Negotiating terms with your landlord – Coronavirus pandemic

Negotiating terms with your landlord – Coronavirus pandemic

Negotiating terms with your landlord during the coronavirus pandemic

We hope this finds you all well and if, like us, you are working from home, we hope you are keeping busy!

This month we have focused on advising tenants that may be struggling to pay their rent. For Landlords this is also a difficult time, our advice is to keep talking with your tenants and try to find a way through this. If you would like to get in touch for some guidance on this please contact us

Our advice:

1. The contract/lease.

  • Re-read the lease there maybe be a break option that you could use as leverage.
  • There maybe a “force majeure” clause that enables you to trigger a break, but it is unlikely, always get legal advice from a solicitor.

2. Contact your landlord and explain that you are having financial difficulties due to the Coronavirus, and that payment of rent over the next few months will be difficult/impossible. In the first instance a phone call or email would be enough.

3. We would then advise to back this up with a letter. An emailed copy of the letter is fine if you have the correct email address. There are some sample letters available from us and others. Let us know if you need one

4. If you stop paying rent, your landlord will probably be able to forfeit the lease (e.g. change the locks (but only if you are not living at the property)). However, the government have offered protection from eviction for 3 months if non-payment of rent is due to the virus.

5. However the rent will still be due (this is not a rent free period) and it is likely that the unpaid rent will be payable between 3-6 months after the 3-month moratorium.

6. When contacting your landlord always:

  • Have everything you need to hand i.e. the lease, accounts, projections etc.
  • Be professional and calm.
  • Even if it feels personal it rarely is.
  • Offer the landlord an alternative or a way out i.e. deferred rent, reduced rent, monthly rather than quarterly etc.
  • Conclude and put it in writing

We hope this is helpful

Any commercial landlords will be undergoing a reality check if they expect retailers/publicans to start paying full rent after the governments’ three-month moratorium comes to an end.

If you have a rent review due over the next six months there may be an opportunity to negotiate a better rent over the next 3-5 years. If you would like some advice Contact us

For more articles like this, go to our Articles page (or click here for our previous article), and also consider signing up to our Newsletter!

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Posted on by JS Reakes

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