Many have seen the latest news reports that Landlords’ hands are going to be tied even further with the steps that they can take to recover outstanding rent during the COVID-19 outbreak. These additional restrictions may be included in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, the wording of which we are still awaiting.
The effect will be that any winding up petition that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. Where the company’s inability to pay is the result of COVID-19, the law will not permit petitions to be presented, or winding up orders made.
However, the good news for landlords is that, first and foremost, these restrictions are not yet law. In Shorts Gardens LLB v London Borough of Camden Council  EWHC 1001 (Ch), Mr Justice Snowden did not accept that COVID-19 and prospective legislation by the government in relation to insolvency was a good reason to restrain winding up petitions.
In addition to this ruling, there are three key points about the potential new restrictions:
We would advise that before you take any steps, speak to one of our Dispute Resolution specialists to identify the best course of action open to you. We are advising many landlords at present on varying matters and are ensuring that we stay informed about the changes taking place on a daily basis.
Contact our Dispute Resolution team to discuss ways in which your position might benefit.
Call Daniel Gleek (Partner in charge of Dispute Resolution) on 020 3827 6115.