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Landlords and tenants of commercial property in England and Wales still trying to agree how to deal with arrears of rent built up because of COVID-19 will welcome an updated Code of Practice ‘Guidance: Commercial rent code of practice following the COVID-19 pandemic’ to help them negotiate a resolution.

The new Code replaces the previous Code (first issued on 19 June 2020, and updated on 6 April 2021 and 9 November 2021) to help landlords and tenants work together to solve arrears issue, and now takes into account new COVID-related laws covering arrears of commercial rents in 2022.

The new laws ringfence arrears of rent built up because COVID forced the tenant to close. There is a binding arbitration process to resolve whether and how arrears can be paid. The Code explains the process, and identifies which evidence is relevant and the principles arbitrators apply when making an award.

The government says that non-eligible landlords and tenants may also find it useful when attempting to resolve unpaid rent debt issues by negotiation.

Commercial landlords and tenants failing to reach agreement over COVID-related rent arrears should download the Code from the GOV.UK website and consider whether and how it, and the new laws, can help them.

Ramsdens specialist property disputes lawyers can advise on all aspects of rent arrears whether you are a commercial landlord or a tenant. Get in touch with us by calling 01484 821 500 or email to speak to one of our property dispute solicitors.