Government announces extension to eviction protection for businesses

On 16 June 2021 the government announced that businesses that have been closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial property will continue to be protected from eviction. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that legislation will be introduced which will ringfence outstanding unpaid rent that has accumulated when a business has remained closed during the pandemic. Landlords are expected to make allowances for the ringfenced rent arrears from the specific periods of closure which relate to the pandemic. It is thought the legislation will assist landlords and tenants in agreeing an approach to deal with the money owed. For example by waiving some of the amount owed or agreeing a long term repayment plan.

If an agreement cannot be made the legislation will ensure a binding arbitration process is implemented so both parties can come to a formal agreement. To protect landlords, the government is also making clear where a business can pay rent, it must do so. Tenants should start paying rent once restrictions change and they are allowed to open for business. The existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25 March 2022. Statutory demands and winding up petitions will also remain restricted for a further 3 months protecting businesses from creditor enforcement action where their debts relate to the pandemic.

Click here to view the government announcement.