If your business has been closed or impacted by Coronavirus, you might be able to agree a rent holiday or rent payment deferral with your landlord.
The Coronavirus Scotland Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, Michael Russell MSP, on 31 March 2020.
This Emergency Bill and its proposals is expected to pass through the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 1st April 2020 following an emergency legislation meeting in the Chamber.
This emergency legislation includes changes to the law around commercial leases, and the notice period that a landlord must give a tenant if they fail to pay their rent on time.
Currently, a landlord must serve a warning notice on the tenant allowing 14 days (or such longer period as is specified in the lease) to pay any arrears.
If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord may irritate (terminate) the lease. Even if the tenant pays the arrears after the 14-day period has expired the landlord may still terminate the lease.
The Scottish Government emergency legislation changes the 14-day period to a period of 14 weeks. But please note, even if the tenant pays the arrears after the 14-week period has expired the landlord may still terminate the lease.
Commercial leases (Schedule 7 Paragraphs 6-7)
Sections 4 and 5 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1985 contain statutory provision relating to the irritancy of a lease for monetary and non-monetary breaches respectively. Section 4 provides, in respect of a monetary breach, that the landlord must serve a warning notice on the tenant allowing 14 days (or such longer period as is specified in the lease) to pay the arrears. If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord may irritate (terminate) the lease. Even if the tenant pays the arrears after the 14 day period has expired the landlord may still terminate the lease. 2.
The intention for the Bill is that in respect of commercial leases the period of 14 days specified in section 4 should be changed so that it becomes a period of 14 weeks.
In order to ensure that there is flexibility, for example to extend this period to a longer period if necessary, the Bill gives the Scottish Ministers a power to alter this 14 week period by means of regulations.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP WITH MY LEASE ON MY FALKIRK COUNCIL BUSINESS PREMISES?
Falkirk Council’s commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will not be subject to any new legal action in terms of their lease for at least 3 months from 25 March 2020. No business will be forced out of their premises if they miss paying rent during this period. Rental invoices and reminders will still be issued by the Council.
Cases will be considered further once the above support measures have been implemented and it is clearer as to the impact on each business. Any rent deferred as a consequence will be part of these discussions with you. Please contact the property team for any further information at firstname.lastname@example.org