The government has announced that business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.
The majority of commercial landlords have shown flexibility, understanding and commitment to protect businesses during an exceptionally challenging time.
This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction, will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.
The move will also support businesses worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, helping them to rebuild over the winter period.
A review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, has also been announced, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions. This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants, and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond.
Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
I am extending protections from the threat of eviction for businesses unable to pay their rent until March 2021, taking the length of these measures to one year. This will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic and plan for the future.
This support is for the businesses struggling the most during the pandemic, such as those in hospitality – however, those that are able to pay their rent should do so.
We are witnessing a profound adjustment in commercial property. It is critical that landlords and tenants across the country use the coming months to reach agreements on rent wherever possible and enable viable businesses to continue to operate.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
We have stood by businesses across the country throughout this pandemic, and as we head into the New Year we will make sure they continue to have the support they need to keep their finances stable, protect jobs and build back better.
There is still some uncertainty ahead, but knowing that they won’t be evicted by their landlord will give thousands of business owners some breathing space and the additional confidence they need to plan for their futures.
Further guidance to support tenants and landlords to continue to work together 54to agree rent payment options, where businesses are struggling, will be published shortly.
The government will also extend insolvency measures on restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions until the end of March.
The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent will also automatically extend to the end of March, in line with the moratorium’s expiry date. This allows businesses sufficient breathing space to pay rent owed.
For more details visit the government webpage here.