Currently, there are protections in place for commercial tenants until 30 June 2020 from forfeiture (early termination) due to non-payment of rent and statutory demands/winding up petitions.
With the next quarter rent date looming next month, unless there is an extension or further legislation, I anticipate that landlords (who have not entered into rent reduction arrangements with their tenants) will be looking into the following options as they consider whether their tenants genuinely can't pay or just won't pay:
(a) Using enforcement agents under the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery Regime (CRAR) where 90+days rent is overdue;
(b) Issuing money claims against tenants and/or guarantors;
(c) Utilising rent deposits;
(d) Seeking creditors administration; and/or
(e) forfeiture for non-payment of rent/ tenant insolvency (if legislation not extended).
I anticipate the requirement for further government guidance before the next quarter rent date rather than relying on landlords and tenants to just make their own arrangements.
This article was written on 24 May 2020 and does not constitute specific legal advice