How the recently released “Code of Practice for commercial property” might affect your GP Practice.

The Government has recently published the “Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic”. This is a voluntary code designed to assist Landlords and Tenants in trying to reach temporary agreements so as to ease financial pressure on Tenants who are struggling to afford their rental obligations.

The Code provides a number of suggestions as to possible frameworks for such agreements, from rent-free periods to temporary rent reductions to shortened rent payment frequencies (to name but a few). What the Code also makes clear, is that this is a voluntary protocol that requires collaboration between parties to work together for the benefit of aiding swifter economic recovery, and that the entire process has to centre around that collaboration with both parties acting reasonably and responsibly, and the need to be completely transparent during the process.

Many GP surgeries throughout the country will benefit from having co-located Pharmacies and it is therefore highly likely that Pharmacy operators may well approach their Landlords for assistance in these times, in accordance with the principles set out within the Code. What must be borne in mind is that if this happens, there must be transparency as to the economic difficulties being faced by the operator, and that both parties must engage together to act reasonably in seeking a mutually acceptable solution.

Should you have a Pharmacy tenant who has recently approached you in this respect and you would like further advice regarding what you can and cannot do, and how you would go about agreeing some form of temporary arrangements, we are here to help.


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