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TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses for over 30 years. We offer a range of advice and services. Your first appointment is free to help you weigh up your options.

We offer appointments in Hartlepool, Durham, Peterlee, Wingate and Newcastle, and will give you a tailored quotation for the cost of your case wherever we can.

We have many solicitors who are accredited specialists in their area of work, and can also offer representation under Legal Aid.

Browse through our site for information, factsheets and more. 

If you think we can help, please contact us and we will be happy to give you free initial advice.

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"Kim's [Johnson] service was excellent. She kept us informed by email and was available by telephone when necessary"

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In September 2021 a High Court Judge handed down a judgment in respect of outstanding rent and service charges which had accrued during the national Covid19 lockdown and had reached a staggering £2.9million.

The case was London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd [2021]. The tenants in this case (a cinema chain) argued that the rent should not be recoverable during the period in which it was illegal to trade (due to national lockdown) and during any period where foot fall would be less then anticipated (due to restrictions on numbers of customers allowed into the building).

The tenant raised a number of arguments and sought to rely upon the Code of Practice introduced by government during the pandemic. The Code strongly encourages landlords and tenants to communicate and negotiate rent arrears, rather than taking matters to court.

The judge confirmed that the Code was not law and that the parties should look to the terms of the lease when determining whether rent arrears were recoverable.  The judge found that there was no term in the lease stating that rent would not be payable in the event of a pandemic or other unforeseen event. The judge held that the tenant was responsible for all the rent and service charges which accrued during the pandemic.

This comes as another blow to tenants who are struggling to return their finances to pre-pandemic levels. Whilst the Code of Practice is not enforceable, it is there to encourage parties to negotiate. We can help both tenants and landlords with negotiations and assist parties reach amicable settlements.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon in place of specific legal advice. If you have a landlord and tenant query then please do not hesitate to contact our litigation team for advice and assistance.

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