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Code of Practice Published for the Commercial Property Sector

19th June 2020

The government has published a commercial property code of practice to encourage tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses.

Developed in close collaboration between the government and leaders from the sector, the code is designed to provide clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments and to encourage best practice, so that every part of the chain is supported. The code is voluntary in nature and is relevant for all commercial leases held by businesses in any sector which have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It encourages tenants to continue to pay their rent in full if they are in a position to do so and advises that others should pay what they can, whilst acknowledging that landlords should provide support to businesses if they too are able to do so.

This will apply across the UK, encouraging tenants and landlords to be transparent in their discussions and to act reasonably whilst recognising the impact that coronavirus has had on businesses’ finances.

The code represents best practice within the sector for responding to Covid-19 and is endorsed by the leading representative bodies who formed the code’s steering group:

• British Chambers of Commerce
• British Property Federation
• British Retail Consortium
• Commercial Real Estate Finance Council Europe
• Revo
• Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors
• UK Hospitality

To date, a number of other organisations have also endorsed the code:

• Agricultural Law Association
• Association of Convenience Stores
• British Beer and Pubs Association
• British Independent Retailers Association
• Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
• Country Land Association
• Federation of Small Businesses
• Property Owners Forum
• Scottish Property Federation
• Tenant Farmers Association and Tenant Farmers Association Cymru
• UK Active
• UK Major Ports Group

The steering group will continue to work with government to ensure the sector is supported over the coming weeks and welcome further endorsements from representative bodies.

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