Cause for distress? The remedy of distress is being abolished from 6 April 2014

Levying distress means ‘sending in the bailiffs’ to seize a tenant’s goods in order to recover arrears of rent. Distress is being replaced by Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR). This update looks at key features of the change and what this means for landlords and tenants.

Levying distress allows a landlord to take possession of the tenant’s goods on the let premises and either hold them pending payment of the arrears or to sell them and keep the proceeds in lieu of payment. Distress is an ancient remedy that is incidental to a lease and the relationship of landlord and tenant. The government has now decided to abolish it.

Under the new CRAR regime, commercial landlords (or their mortgagees) will have a statutory right to recover arrears using a prescribed enforcement procedure…

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