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On 15 April, the Government announced further temporary changes to legislation giving some relief to commercial tenants and mortgagors.

 

Particularly, changes to current legislation were introduced extending the timeframes that tenants and mortgagors have to pay arrears owing to their landlord or Bank.

 

Commercial tenants

In the case of commercial tenants, rent must now be unpaid for not less than 30 working days and the landlord must now give 30 working days notice before they can cancel a lease due to overdue rent. This is up from 10 working days under the current Property Law Act provisions.

 

Mortgagors

In the case of mortgagors, the Bank must now give 40 working days notice before they can take steps to enforce their powers under a mortgage, including by taking possession of the property or starting mortgagee sale action. This is up from  20 working days under the current Property Law Act provisions.

 

The changes

The changes apply from 9 April 2020 (10 working days after the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) notice (“Notice”) was issued on 25 March). The changes will be temporary applying until 6 months after the end of the Notice. The Notice has been renewed and is due to expire on 24 September 2020. Given the current Covid situation, further renewals are not out of the question.

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