The Government’s Code of Practice for the Commercial Property Sector was published on Friday.

It’s a voluntary Code giving guidance to landlords and tenants as to how to deal with rent payments during the Covid crisis.

Tenants who can pay their rent should do so and landlords should act reasonably to support tenants where they are struggling.

Rent concessions should be negotiated where appropriate.

The Code states that tenants should be transparent, explaining their reasons for wanting rent concessions by disclosing their financial position, and that landlords should, after taking into account their own financial commitments and fiduciary duties, give clear reasons if they refuse concessions. In some cases, this may involve disclosing information under a confidentiality agreement where it is commercially sensitive.

The Code sets out various possible rent concession options, many of which parties have already been employing over the past few months. The aim of the game is to find a fair balance between the respective needs of each party and ultimately to keep monies moving in some shape or form to prevent businesses collapsing and in so doing to keep the economy going. Landlords should be willing to compromise and tenants must not take advantage of the current situation.

We are all in this together and trying to come out of this together. In short, play nicely in the commercial property playground please.

Click here to see the Code.