Dispute Resolution

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill was formally introduced before the Scottish Parliament on 31 March 2020.

Like the UK Coronavirus Act, it protects commercial tenants from termination for non-payment of rent by extending the notice period from 14 days to 14 weeks.

The Scottish Government has reserved the power to extend the 14 weeks’ time limit, meaning that a 14 weeks’ notice could be extended after it had been served.

Any pre-irritancy notices served on tenants prior to the Bill coming into force become void if they haven’t expired.

The Bill doesn’t prevent landlords irritating leases for non-monetary breaches.  However, a fair and reasonable landlord would be likely to take into account the impact of the Coronavirus when deciding whether to terminate a lease.  There may therefore be very little opportunity to terminate quickly for a non-monetary breach.

It also does not stop landlords from pursuing tenants by other means to recover arrears.  But as we discussed here, https://brodies.com/blog/real-estate/covid-19-update-for-commercial-landlords/,  recovering arrears is a challenge at present.

The Bill should come into force after 1 April 2020.

Matthew Farrell