Having read JLL's most recent report on the COVID-19 pandemic and what the market may look like in future with interest,  I thought I'd take a crack at five predictions for what leases will look like when the dust settles.

1. Trust is key. As in any other industry, reputation is king. The way landlords and tenants treat each other now, and the steps they take to manage this crisis, will have significant repercussions in future for ease of doing deals. So while not much will change, those who stick by their values now, and those who can show they are robust enough to weather a crisis, will be in a very strong position in the future to agree favourable terms;

2. Rent and rent review will change, but only in retail, leisure and F&B. It's no good having a nice fixed rent and upwards only review clause where the underlying tenant isn't viable, and the pandemic has shown just how vulnerable some can be - in the future tenants in these sectors are going to need more flexibility (e.g. a greater link between rent and performance of the unit);

3. More break clauses.  Tenants will be more willing to pay for a bit of flexibility. That will affect reversionary value, but not as much as a void unit. There will be more attention paid to any pre-conditions to exercising those breaks;

4. Easier notice provisions. Never the most glamorous topic, right now both landlords and tenants are realising how difficult it is to trigger lease events when there are prescriptive lease clauses surrounding what a notice needs to look like - no doubt the courts will soon be bothered by a case on just this subject. Email service of notice will be accepted not just as valid, but as the new normal;

5. Not much will change. The pandemic has created a number of human, practical issues which people are struggling to deal with - but the vast majority of landlords will still only be able to invest in property where they're comfortable they can get a clear income stream for a certain term. So, despite the above, don't expect to see lots of fancy new break clauses where the tenant can't trade - the vast majority of lease terms will stay exactly the same.

The vast majority of issues people are wrestling with now are human and logistical problems. When the world returns to some semblance of normal investors may indeed, as the JLL report suggests, reassess where they want to keep their money - but my guess is that the terms on which they do so won't be materially different. The key question will be trust in the party you're doing business with.