Extended timeframes for taking enforcement action on mortgage defaults and unpaid commercial lease rental will come to an end on 20 March 2023.
The extended timeframes were brought in by amendments to the Property Law Act 2007 on 16 May 2020 (COVID-19 Provisions) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the lockdowns on mortgagors and commercial tenants.
Sections 119 (mortgages) and 245 (leases) of the Property Law Act require landlords and mortgagees to allow their tenants/mortgagors a period of time to remedy their unpaid rent or mortgage default before they can take enforcement action, such as terminating the lease or conducting a mortgagee sale. Under the COVID-19 Provisions that period of time was temporarily increased from 10 working days to 30 working days for leases and from 20 working days to 40 working days for mortgages.
The COVID-19 Provisions apply to unpaid rent and mortgage defaults during the period beginning on 1 April 2020 and ending six months after the expiry of the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020. The notice, which was first issued on 25 March 2020, has been renewed several times. The last renewal was on 15 September 2022 when it was extended until 20 October 2022 meaning the COVID-19 Provisions will cease to have effect in relation to breaches after 20 March 2023.
Notices already served will continue to have effect according to their terms.
If you have any questions about the subject matter of this article, please get in touch with our Property Team or your usual contact at Hesketh Henry.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is current at the date of publishing and is of a general nature. It should be used as a guide only and not as a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought where required.