The Secretary of State has announced further extensions to the moratoria on lease forfeiture and debt enforcement, plus a review of “outdated” landlord and tenant legislation. Our Commercial Property Team are available on 01225 462871. You can also contact them by email, or by completing the contact form at the foot of this page.
In announcing the further extension of the government’s moratoria on lease forfeiture and debt enforcement, the Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, has made it clear that this will be the final extension. 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 current moratoria prevent the repossession of commercial premises if coronavirus has affected a business’s ability to pay its rent and restricts landlords from pursuing recovery of rent by such means as statutory demands and winding-up petitions.
Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery
In line with the extension of these moratoria, the restriction on the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR), which allows commercial landlords to recover rent arrears by taking control of a tenant’s goods and selling them, has also been extended to the end of March 2021.
Not only…but also
But that is not all. Mr Jenrick has also announced:
- that early in the new year, the government will issue further guidance aimed at supporting commercial landlords and tenants in their negotiations. This guidance will sit alongside its voluntary “Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic”, published in June.
- a review of “the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions“, which will consider “how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond“. Quite an ambition – watch this space!