Insights Commercial Property Law – Key Considerations (May 2021)


Our May 2021 summary of the latest developments in Property law and practice is as follows:

There has been another extension to many of the temporary measures introduced last year in the commercial property sector to deal with the ramifications of the Covid-19 crisis.

  • Under Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the ‘relevant period’ in which landlords remain subject to restrictions on forfeiting business leases, for non-payment of rent, has been extended until 30 June 2021.
  • Extended restrictions on the ability for landlords to use Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery under Sections 71 to 87 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA 2007), has also been extended until 30 June 2021. The minimum amount of net rent that must be unpaid is an amount equal to 457 days’ rent (where the notice of enforcement is given on or before 23 June 2021) and 554 days’ rent (where the notice of enforcement is given on or after 24 June 2021).
  • The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2021 has been extended until 30 June 2021. Up until that date, the restrictions on the use of statutory demands and on winding up proceedings will remain in place.
  • The time period for notifying HMRC of an option to tax, which was increased to 90 days from the date the decision to opt was made for any decision made between 15 February 2020 and 30 June 2021, has been extended until 30 June 2021.

One temporary measure that came to the end on 5 April 2021 was the increase of time period for registering company charges. The time period was temporarily extended by 10 days bringing the period to 31 days; however, this has now reverted back to the standard 21 days. For charges created up to and including 4 April 2021, the temporary extension to the period for filing particulars of a charge will continue to apply. However, for charges created after 4 April 2021, the time period will revert to the normal 21 days.

From 1 April 2021, Schedule 16 of the Finance (No 2) Bill will impose a 2% SDLT surcharge for “non-resident transactions” to the ordinary residential rates of SDLT/the surcharge rates/the 15% rate for companies acquiring higher threshold interests/leasehold purchases.

A non-resident transaction is one where the purchaser (or- if multiple purchasers- at least one of the purchasers) is non-resident, the transaction involves acquiring of a major interest in one or more dwellings and the consideration is £40,000 and above.

A person is treated as being resident in the UK if they are present in the UK on at least 183 days during any continuous period of 365 days falling within the relevant period. The relevant period stretches from 364 days before the effective date of the transaction to 365 days after the effective date. Special provisions apply to cases where a purchaser is in a partnership, is a trustee of a settlement, or is out of the UK as a Crown employee.