Commercial Landlords and coronavirus – challenges for the future

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The plight of the commercial landlord will perhaps not attract the sympathy like those of a commercial tenant in these times when businesses are faced with uncertain futures.

The position for landlords and tenants in the current crisis can afford some protection under section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which provides for the relevant period, between 26 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, relief from payment of rent.

But what happens beyond that and should landlords be looking forward in light of possible seismic changes in our behaviour in the longer term?

In 2008 after the banking crisis, landlords also went through a difficult period.

The difference in the future is that this crisis may cause social and economic revaluation on how we shop, work and play. Large retail units were already starting to disappear.  Business enterprises are bound to reappraise how services and goods can be delivered to reduce overheads, particularly accommodation.

Will small units be the future?

Could they provide businesses whatever their nature and size, a traditional shop front to cheaply promote their brand or service?

Time will tell.

Author: Paul Harrington, Property/Commercial Litigator