Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021, the Government has announced today.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the final extension to the protection from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent.
However, the Government said 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, he added.
Mr Jenrick has also announced a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions.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 the country recovers from the pandemic and beyond.
Mr Jenrick 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.”
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 breathing space to pay rent owed
Further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants will also be published shortly, the Government said.