This voluntary code of practice is one of the measures announced by the Government over the last few months to address the impact of COVID-19 on commercial property.
The code looks to set out key principles and best practice for landlords and tenants in discussing payment arrangements in relation to existing leases, including rent, service charge and insurance payments. It includes suggested issues for landlords to take into account when considering the requests of tenants to renegotiate rents, as well as possible options for new arrangements that could be agreed by landlords and tenants.
While the code is expected to be needed by some sectors more than others (notably hospitality, retail and leisure) it is not sector-specific. It applies to all commercial leases held by businesses which have been seriously negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Being voluntary, it remains to be seen what impact the code will have on negotiations between landlords and tenants, particularly as we enter the June quarter.