Commercial property landlords and tenants are being urged to work together during the coronavirus crisis.

David Bailey, partner and head of commercial property litigation at legal firm Napthens, said tenants and landlords needed to get together to discuss how to find a way through the current difficulties.

“In most cases it is not appropriate for landlords to pursue every penny of rent when they know a tenant is struggling in the current circumstances," he said.

"Also, in most cases it is not appropriate for tenants to refuse to pay anything."

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020 landlords are precluded from forfeiting commercial leases and evicting tenants for non-payment of rent. Further restrictions are about to be introduced which will prevent landlords from winding-up tenant companies for non-payment of rent who have suffered a financial impact as a result of Covid-19.

“By working together and considering the specific circumstances of the subject property, the landlord, the existence of any support from the landlord’s lender, Government financial help available and the tenant’s business, both parties can come through the challenges," said David.

“The pandemic is a game changer for the usual landlord and tenant relationship.

"The knock-on effects will vary business to business and it is important for landlords and tenants to work in partnership to reach a workable solution until things return to some sort of normality.”