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A “significant challenge for the entire world” is how the UK government has described the rapidly changing situation surrounding coronavirus (covid 19). With enforced closures of many businesses and the instruction that we “must stay at home” the ability of tenants to comply with commercial lease obligations has come under intense pressure, which the government has recognised and, in part, legislated for. This practical session looks at:
- Has the lease come to an end? Frustration, force majeure and derogation from grant
- Keep open covenants & user clauses: the impact of closure orders and the new Use Class DA
- The landlord’s rental stream: unpacking the new restrictions on forfeiture – does the Coronavirus Act 2020 have any real impact?
- Signing & serving notices: Practical problems– in light of home working and self isolation
- Proposed insolvency changes: the impact on landlords
By the end of the session the delegates will:
- Be able to advise as to what the restriction on forfeiture means for a landlord’s income stream, and which remedies remain
- Understand, and be able to resolve some of the problems in signing and serving notices from a distance – and what to advise as to the operation of a tenant’s break right by notice
- Be aware of the limitations of frustration, force majeure and derogation from grant – when a tenant wants to ‘escape’ a lease
- Understand the impact of legislation on ‘keep open’ and user clauses
Sarah Thompson-Copsey is a former property litigation partner at the City law firm now known as Dentons, handling all types of commercial property problems, but with an emphasis on avoiding & resolving commercial landlord and tenant disputes. Sarah now works as a freelance lecturer, trainer and author and lectures & writes regularly on commercial property topics, as well as providing independent auditing and consulting services for law firms.
Sarah is co-author of Tenants’ Pre-emption Rights: A landlord’s guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (Jordans) and Mixed Use and Residential Tenants’ Rights: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and Leasehold Enfranchisement, (Elsevier 2009). She is also on the property consultation board of Practical Law Company and a site editor for the Property Law website at www.propertylawuk.net.