Published on June 17th, 2021 | by The GC Team0
Commercial eviction ban extended “in the nick of time”
Existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25 March 2022, the Government has said.
The move follows the decision to delay the easing of lockdown restrictions for four weeks and is intended to ensure that the sectors which are unable to open have enough time to come to an agreement with their landlord without the threat of eviction.
The rents moratorium brought in to help UK retailers through the pandemic was due to end on 30th June 2021, and has left retailers with £2.9 billion in accumulated rent debts.
Statutory demands and winding up petitions will also remain restricted for a further three months to protect companies from creditor enforcement action where their debts relate to the pandemic.
The British Retail Consortium said the extension, “a very welcome announcement addressing an issue of vital importance”, had come “in the nick of time”.
“We will be looking closely at the details, but welcome the continued support provided by Government to businesses,” said Chief Executive Helen Dickinson.
“Just as retailers feared a wave of legal action by landlords, the Government has stepped in to offer both landlords and tenants more time to negotiate. The last 15 months have seen extended periods of forced closure for retailers, preventing many from making the turnover needed to cover rents.
“Retailers need time to trade their way out of debt; this announcement does exactly that. We’re also pleased to see the Government adopt our proposal for binding arbitration where agreements between parties cannot be reached.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “We welcome ongoing negotiations between landlords and tenants about accrued rent as we continue to recover from the pandemic. To support these, we’re now providing a new backstop to help businesses and tenants to return to normal. This will help preserve jobs and livelihoods as we build back better.”