Landlords will no longer be able to send in the bailiffs for unpaid rent from 6 April 2014.
A new process, known as the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery Process (CRAR), will come into effect which will involve giving notice to the tenant, something which a landlord is not required to do at present.
This process can only be used by the landlord when they are owed pure rent (principal rent and VAT if payable, plus interest).
Other items such as service charge, rates, council tax, repairs and maintenance can not be claimed for by the landlord under the CRAR, even if they are defined as rent in the lease.
Also under this new process, claims for unpaid rent on mixed use premises (shop and flat above) will not be covered and landlords will not be able to take control of goods which belong to third parties when they distrain.
Time to use distraint is running out so for landlords who are owed rent, however it is defined in your lease would be best using the remedy of distraint, before 6 April, if appropriate and you should always obtain legal advice before using distraint as a remedy.