Market Insight

Tenant advice amid COVID-19– Improving cashflow and other practical necessities

April 2, 2020

Further to the Government’s advice and the assistance and protections proposed in the Coronavirus Act 2020, it is important to ensure you have considered every possible legal, financial, health and safety and practical implication with regards to leasing commercial property at this unprecedented, challenging and fast moving time.

As ever with new measures, the devil is in the detail, so it is important to seek professional advice and to remember that, unless existing contractual arrangements are overridden by the Act these remain enforceable as well obligations regarding Health and Safety and all other legislation.

Here are some headline considerations to take into account if you are an occupier / tenant.


The default position for any landlord will be the lease contract you have in place which, in most cases, requires you to pay rent in advance on a quarterly or monthly basis.

Any departure from this obligation or request for a rent-free period is a new negotiation for which we can assist.

Please note the Coronavirus Act only provides protection from forfeiture for a short period of time (to the end of June 2020) for companies who have a lease which would be covered by Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (as amended) – i.e. a commercial tenancy.


In addition to any negotiated position with regard to changing cashflow around rent, other challenges to Business Rates are possible (beyond the publicised Retail, Hospitality and Leisure support announced by the Chancellor).

However, there may be other opportunities for further reductions in liabilities and additional Government money as a result of the lockdown.

Health and Safety

There is still an obligation to maintain Fire Alarm systems, service critical equipment, cleaning regimes, Legionella testing and many more issues, because once full premises, are now deserted.

Our Facilities Management team we have developed a useful check list to ensure you have all the critical bases covered. Get in touch with us for your copy.


If your premises is unoccupied, do you still comply with requirements for insurance and have you notified relevant parties?

Are the premises being inspected once a week (if required), has the fridge been emptied, all waste removed from site, and are plants on a watering regime? Is there adequate security onsite and will deep cleaning of the premises be required before reoccupation?

These are just some of the matters we are helping clients with currently.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised above or would like further advice, don’t hesitate to contact us and ask to speak to a member of our occupier advice team.