COVID-19 has had a significant impact on commercial leases in New Zealand. Since the nationwide lockdown earlier this year, the Government has announced various forms of relief for both Landlord and Tenants. The focus of the initial changes was to allow more time for Tenants and Landlords to rectify defaults. For a Tenant this applies to late rent payments, and for a Landlord late mortgage payments. Many of our clients that are party to commercial leases will already be aware of the following temporary changes to notice periods under the Property Law Act 2007 (PLA):
The notice periods will return to those prescribed by the PLA six months after the expiry of the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice, meaning at this stage they will apply until 24 March 2021.
In late August the Government announced a plan to put in place a subsidised arbitration and mediation service for commercial leases. Further information is still to come. However, what we know so far is that:
If you have any questions concerning the above, or in relation to whether your own commercial lease contains any specific forms of relief within the lease itself, please don’t hesitate to contact Chris Egden, Associate (DDI 03 343 8584 / firstname.lastname@example.org) today.