The Financial Times reports that some UK landlords have already threatened legal action against tenants who are withholding rent due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Like the Irish government, the UK government has issued a three-month moratorium against eviction for non-payment of rent. In response, it is reported that the majority of UK commercial tenants have held back on paying the rents due yesterday.
Tenants in the UK are seeking to negotiate rent reductions, whilst UK landlords are so far only acceding to rent deferrals which tenants say is unsatisfactory in light of the ongoing income freeze they are facing.
My previous passle examines the options available to landlords and tenants in Ireland where rent goes unpaid. The unfortunate reality is that the landlord and tenant relationships will be severely strained and may become fractious whilst both parties attempt to weather this unprecedented crisis.
In the UK, estate agent Knight Frank said landlords had received just a third of the £2.5bn quarterly retail rent that was due last week. Intu, one of the UK’s largest shopping centre owners, was paid just 29 per cent of its bill. To start collecting rent again, landlords need tenants to still be standing when the pandemic is contained. But UK high street vacancies could double to one in every five shops in the coming months, according to Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at property data provider Springboard.