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. It 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 which is incidental to a lease and the relationship of Landlord and Tenant. The government has now decided to abolish it.


Distress is being replaced by Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”). Under the new regime, commercial Landlords (or their mortgagees) will have a statutory right to recover arrears using a prescribed enforcement procedure.

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