This briefing was updated on 17 March 2021.
Many tenants have approached their landlords to ask for assistance in mitigating their financial situations. They have requested rent holidays, rent reductions, and monthly as opposed to quarterly rent payment schedules. Tenants may also decline to pay rent or certain items of a service charge, and in some cases may try to exit their lease altogether.
Some tenants will be close to insolvency if they cannot reduce their liabilities. For them in particular, it may be difficult to justify giving landlords a preference by paying rent quarterly in advance for premises that are shut or barely trading when other business payments may only be due in arrear or on a monthly basis.
We have seen several different types of request from tenants in respect of payments under leases. We provide comments on these below, on the assumption of standard commercial lease terms.