Government to issue ‘code of conduct’ for commercial landlords and businesses

A code of conduct intended to end rental disputes between landlords and businesses is due to be revealed ahead of the quarterly rent payment day next Wednesday, The Telegraph reports.

The guidance will be designed to encourage tenants and landlords to use a third party mediator to resolve disputes.

Saleem Fazal, partner at law firm Taylor Wessing, who leads its UK real estate disputes group, said:
“The proposed code is of course welcome if it avoids protracted and costly court disputes but it needs to have some teeth.

“For example, compliance with the code could be cited as a relevant factor for courts to consider when deciding liability for litigation costs.

“Mediations are useful in resolving disputes at lower cost but it does require both parties to engage and share some of the pain. Mediations also provide a forum for alternative commercial bases of settlement.

“For example, a longer lease term in return for reduced or deferred rent. That is not something the court has jurisdiction to order.”