Rent Arrears: What are the Options for Commercial Landlords?

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Many tenants of commercial are likely to have been adversely affected by the economic downturn and may, as a consequence, be struggling to pay the rent due under the terms of their lease. Landlords should be aware of the following if a tenant fails to pay the rent due under the terms of a commercial lease:

  • The tenant may become liable to pay interest (often at a rate higher than bank base rate) on the unpaid rent.
  • The tenant may be liable to pay damages to you as the landlord.
  • The landlord may be able to re-enter and obtain possession of the property.
  • The tenant may be unable to exercise a break clause in the tenancy agreement while there are rent arrears.
  • The landlord may be able to take steps towards having an individual tenant declared bankrupt or a corporate tenant wound up.
  • If the tenant has persistently delayed paying rent, it may be possible to block their application for a renewal lease.
  • The landlord may be able to take action against the current tenant’s guarantor, a former tenant, or even a former tenant’s guarantor to recover the unpaid rent. Notice will have to be served notice in a specially prescribed form in order to seek payment from a former tenant (or its guarantor).
  • The tenant may be liable for your costs arising from, or in connection with, the breach of their obligation to pay rent under the terms of the lease.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this briefing or any other business law issues please do not hesitate to call our free legal helpline on 0800 9758091 to speak with one of out specialist business lawyers.