Warning, if you are a Commercial Property Landlord or Tenant then you need to consider the following five points during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) If you make the decision to temporarily close your doors then you will need to let your Landlord know. Your Lease may have tenant covenants which require you to trade at certain times and for certain hours. Liaise with your Landlord or the property managing agent and discuss your proposals with them to ensure they agree and you are not in breach of your lease.
2) Consider with your solicitors any cessation of rent clause in your lease, most leases contain a clause that allows you to stop paying rent for the period your premises is uninhabitable, we are in unprecedented territory here, careful consideration of any such clause in your lease needs to be undertaken and you need to communicate with your Landlord.
3) If the government imposes restrictions on trading during this time your Lease will likely contain a clause which says that you must adhere to any legislation or regulation imposed whether you agree to it or not, if you are a tenant you must seek advice. Landlords must also ensure that their Tenants are following any legislation and regulation imposed.
4) You must be extra vigilant and ensure all visitors and employees are following the strict hygiene guidelines and that all employees are protected and are allowed to self isolate.
5) If you must close or decide to close your establishment speak to your insurance company and let them know as there maybe requirements within the insurance policy for there to be personnel on site at certain times for certain periods. Speak to your local council if you have a Premises Licence and about business rates and ask advice.