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Rent arrears

Commercial landlords: How to recover rent arrears

In these difficult times for commercial landlords, knowing what action you can take when a tenant stops paying you their rent has never been more important.

Moving quickly to minimise the damage is key and our Commercial Property Disputes Team here at Wards Solicitors, highly experienced in this area of the law, can talk you through exactly what you need to do.

Commercial landlords and unpaid rent

Our Commercial Property Disputes Team will work closely with you to evaluate whether you are in a position to forfeit the lease and whether doing so is in your best long-term interests.

Can I use commercial bailiffs?

The answer is yes, although an extension to Covid-19 regulations recently increased the number of days over which unpaid rent must be accrued before Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, known as CRAR, can be instigated.

In short, CRAR is a statutory service to recover outstanding rent by taking control of a tenant’s goods and selling them.

New regulations came into force on 29 September 2020 restricting the use of CRAR and increasing the minimum amount of net unpaid rent that must be outstanding before CRAR may be instigated.

Between 29 September and 24 December 2020, the equivalent of 276 days’ rent must be owed. After 25 December 2020, the amount of rent arrears required will rise to 366 days.

  • We can explain the key CRAR changes and relevant dates and how they might affect you. Please contact us to find out more details

We will work closely with certified commercial bailiffs on your behalf to peacefully re-enter the premises when the tenant is not on-site.

What can I do when my tenant has moved out but owes me rent?

We will make every effort to put you in the best position to recover the rent owed to you. We can implement a number of procedures depending on your circumstances including:

  • County Court proceedings;
  • The threat of winding up or bankrupty;
  • Drawing on the Rent Deposit Deed or other security;
  • Seeking recovery from guarantors.

We will always use the powers in the lease to optimise your chances of recovering legal costs and interest from the debtor.

Keeping you in the picture

Our Commercial Property Disputes lawyers will always make you aware of all the available options, the pros and cons of each as well as the likely costs.

We also focus on what you yourself can do to improve the situation with your tenants and find amicable solutions.


Get in Touch

Request a call back

If you’d prefer us to call you back, just use the form below to give us your number and the best time to call. It would also be useful if you could give us some idea of what you’d like to discuss.


UPDATE October 2020

We have now re-opened our branches to clients but all appointments and visits must be pre-booked to comply with government guidance.

Availability for face-to- face meetings in branches will be limited and remote contact with teams – via phone, email or video call – is preferred wherever possible.  Our prime concern remains the safety of our clients and our staff.

Please note that all visitors to our offices must, by law, wear a face covering.

We cannot accept drop-in visits from clients without an appointment being made in advance. If you have documents for us, including for ID certification, please deliver them to our letterbox

How to get in touch:

  • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
  • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm, or email info@wards.uk.com at any time and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you.  A list of our 11 branches is available here.

Thank you.

Wards Solicitors LLP