Coronavirus: Can a commercial tenant withhold rent?

Mar 25, 2020

Usually, commercial leases do not permit a tenant to withhold rent. However, in an unprecedented step, the Government has announced that commercial tenants who are unable to pay rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.

Many commercial landlords and tenants are already in discussions about short term rent reductions, deferrals or holidays, and we are assisting our clients to formally document any rent changes.

However, other commercial tenants are still concerned about eviction as a result of their short term cashflow issues, and so the new government measures are intended to reassure these commercial tenants. The emergency Coronavirus Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, contains provisions to ensure that no tenant will be evicted from their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. This is particularly important in light of the usual quarterly rent payment day of 25 March in many commercial leases.

The situation is constantly evolving and we are expecting the government to announce further details about these measures in due course.

If you have any queries about the impact of the proposed coronavirus measures, or would like to discuss any proposed rental agreements, please contact our Real Estate team, or email your query to; call us on 01276 686222 or visit our website

 This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.




























































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