CRAR: a new system for the recovery of commercial property rent arrears is now in force

By Deborah Rider

As of 6 April 2014 and as part of wider reforms introduced by the government, the ancient common law right of distress for rent has now been abolished and replaced by a new statutory procedure known as commercial rent arrears recovery or CRAR.

The common law regime of distress was a self-help remedy previously available to landlords whose tenants had fallen behind in the payment of rent, allowing them to enter the leased premises and seize and sell goods up to the value of the monies owed, with no prior warning and no court order required. Although this was a quick, effective and inexpensive remedy for landlords, it was considered to be too draconian for tenants, as a result of which the decision has now been made to abolish this right and implement a new regime.

CRAR only applies to commercial leases evidenced in writing where no part of the premises is lawfully used as a residential dwelling. Mixed-use premises with a residential element are excluded…

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