New code of practice for High Street businesses and their landlords

The government has announced that a new code of practice is to be published for High Street businesses and their landlords to help provide clarity and reassurance over rent payments. A new working group has been setup with leading businesses and trade associations to develop the new code of practice.

The government has said that the new code will encourage fair and transparent discussions between landlords and tenants over rental payments during the Coronavirus pandemic and guidance on rent arrear payments and treatment of sub-letter and suppliers. This will enable collaboration and cooperation within the sector and help ensure no one part of the chain shoulders the full burden of payment. The new code will be temporary in nature and the government will be able to explore options to make it mandatory if necessary.

The new code will build on other measures for the sector already announced including a moratorium on commercial landlord evictions until at least the end of June. There are also measures temporarily banning the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions until 30 June 2020 and more breathing space for tenants by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.