COVID-19 is affecting all areas of business life, including the relationship between landlords and their tenants. Many occupiers are struggling to re-open, despite being permitted to do so under local laws and guidelines. Even then, we are likely to experience further local and national lockdowns, and the industry seems certain to continue to see major shortfalls in rental income from some tenants for the foreseeable future. Many who have re-opened, particularly in our city centres and shopping malls, are not getting their customers back through the doors; a situation unlikely to change while office workers continue to work from home. Regardless, the irrefutable starting point remains that rent must be paid. This paper explores what scope there is to negotiate relief.
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