On the 1st October 2020 the Department of Business Enterprise & Innovation published a Code of Conduct between Landlord & Tenant for Commercial Rents in response to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
The Code of Conduct is a voluntary code with no statutory basis which is intended to offer a framework for Landlord and Tenant negotiations concerning Commercial Leases that have been seriously negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Code will apply until 31 July 2021 but the Department has stated that it will keep the Code under review and may extend or replace it.
The main points to note are:-
- Landlords and Tenants should act “reasonably, swiftly and transparently and in good faith” where issues have arisen in respect of Commercial Leases and work together to implement mutually beneficial solutions.
- The Code includes a non-exhaustive list of factors that a Landlord could take into account where a Tenant has requested to renegotiate the rent payable under a Lease.
- Proposals are also put forward in relation to the type of arrangements which may be agreed by both parties.
- The Code specifically deals with rents only and provides that any service charges and insurance charges payable under the Lease should be paid in full.
- In circumstances where a Landlord and Tenant have followed the Code’s principles but fail to reach a specific agreement, the Code promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and in particular mediation as the method to facilitate negotiations and amicable resolution of the issues.
For further details/information please contact Éadaoin O’ Riordan.