Further Support For Commercial Tenants through pandemic

The government has recently announced an extension of its support for commercial tenants in light of the ongoing restrictions on businesses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

With many businesses unable to re-open until 17th May 2021 at the earliest, it is hoped that these measures will give them the opportunity to resume their business and start the process of recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic without fear of forfeiture or eviction for rent arrears. The below list is a summary of these measures;

  • The restrictions on forfeiture of business premises for non-payment will now remain in place until 30th June 2021.
  • Legislation will now be introduced which increases the amount of rent that must be due before the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) can be used to recover unpaid rent.
    The minimum unpaid rent that must be outstanding will be increased to 457 days between 25th March and 23rd June 2021, and 554 days from 24th June to 30th June 2021.
  • The government has launched a “call for evidence” to help monitor the overall progress of negotiations between tenants and landlords. It is hoped that commercial landlords and tenants will be able to agree their own arrangements for paying back (or writing off) rent debts by 30th June.

The government is also considering the steps it may take after 30th June, including the possibility of a phased withdrawal of current protections or further legislation targeted at those businesses most impacted by COVID-19.

In addition, the government has confirmed its intention to carry out an overall review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation later this year, which will cover a wide range of matters including elements of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. Commercial landlords and tenants will need to keep abreast of new developments as they arise.

If you require advice on commercial landlord and tenant matters then please email Fiona Hannaford or call her on 01803 403403.

The content of this article is correct as at the date of posting and is for information purposes only. Whilst we try and ensure it is accurate we do not warrant or guarantee that this is the case, nor do we accept any responsibility in the event that it is relied on. The information is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice which you are recommended to obtain.

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