COVID-19 has had a profound (but hopefully not long-lasting) impact on both our business and personal lives.
Due to the restrictions placed on movement and unnecessary travel, many businesses are facing lower footfall/demand and therefore reduced income which is seeing some businesses temporarily close. Similarly, with workers either having no income or being on reduced pay, there are pressures for residential tenants also.
Given that it is extremely unusual for either residential or business tenancy to include provisions allowing for the suspension of rent in a situation such as that provided for by COVID-19, rent will still be payable pursuant to the tenancy agreement, even though there is a temporary relief from eviction due to unpaid rent (due to last until the end of June 2020).
As a result, landlords and tenants are encouraged to work together to find a solution and it may be that a temporary suspension or reduction in rent is agreed or a change in the frequency in which rent is paid.
If such an agreement is made, it is very important for both sides that it is documented. For tenants, it ensures that landlords cannot go back on their word. For landlords, it is important to ensure that the agreed terms of the tenancy are not changed and a ‘side letter’ usually acknowledges that it is a temporary variation in practice only. A side letter will allow the parties to confirm exactly how long the arrangement will last, and how it will end, and will ensure that the agreements within the lease are not permanently changed and that landlords reserve their rights pursuant to the lease.
If you are a landlord or a tenant who would like to document such an arrangement, please feel free to contact the Property Department on 01566 772375 or by emailing Ben Mitchell at email@example.com please also feel free to contact us should you have any other queries in relation to issues, caused by COVID-19 or otherwise, in relation to landlord and tenant matters or indeed any other property matter.