He explained that within the commercial property market, the retail and office sector is struggling at the moment, while industrial property remains strong. Due to the pandemic, landlords are dealing with an increase in requests for rent deferrals and concessions, while the office sector is seeing more surrenders and leasebacks, particularly as team members are continuing to work from home and may increasingly do so in the future.
Tom also outlined the rules behind break notices and explained how force majeure and frustration works. He said that force majeure clauses in leases are extremely rare and cover events beyond parties’ control, such as an Act of God. He added that force majeure clauses may exclude foreseeable/foreseen events and queried whether future pandemics would be now considered as foreseeable events?