COVID-19: Information for tenants and landlords of commercial properties

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On 16 May 2020, some temporary law changes were made to support tenants and landlords during the COVID-19 crisis. These changes give both parties more time to meet their payment obligations. They form part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Act 2020.

  • A commercial landlord must now give 30 working days’ notice before they can evict a tenant due to overdue rent payments
  • Landlords have 40 working days’ before a lender can take steps to enforce the mortgage
  • These law changes have been backdated, so they apply from 1 April 2020
  • The law will return to the previous time frames six months after the end of the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020.*
  • The changes in the Bill do not apply to residential tenancies

Commercial landlords, tenants, lenders and borrowers should work together to find a sustainable solution for all parties involved. Mortgaged goods are also touched by this law change. The time frames have changed from 10 to 30 working days before the lender can take enforcement action.

Have your lease or mortgage arrangements been affected by COVID 19? If yes, you should seek legal advice on how law changes apply to your personal circumstances.

For information on rent freeze and tenancy terminations on residential properties, please refer to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

* The current notice expires on 24 September 2020 (unless an earlier expiry date is notified, or the notice is renewed).

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