Businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of year, providing commercial tenants with greater security and protecting vital jobs, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced today.
Today’s measures are on top of the wider-ranging financial package provided by the UK Government, backed by £160b, to protect jobs, incomes and business throughout and beyond the pandemic.
The Government is clear that where businesses can pay their rent, they should do so, as this support is aimed to those businesses struggling the most during the pandemic.
This move will help those businesses most in need of additional support to remain in their premises without the threat of eviction for the rest of this year, giving them the chance to focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma comments: "During this particularly challenging time for businesses, it is crucial that both landlords and tenants have the clarity and reassurance they need to build back better from the pandemic.
"Extending the temporary measures we put in place earlier this year to protect businesses from the threat of eviction will give them some much-needed breathing space at a critical moment in the UK’s economic recovery.
"This extension will protect businesses that are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of Covid-19 from being evicted and help the thousands of people working in these sectors feel more secure about their jobs.
"The Government will also extend the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of the year."
Responding to the rent moratorium announcement, Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “We're pleased that the Government has listened to us and others on the issue of rents. It remains a difficult time for store-based retailers, who face high costs from coronavirus safety measures, and significantly lower footfall.
"While the extension of the moratorium will provide a respite for many struggling retailers, a large Christmas Day rent bill would be a disaster during the all-important peak trading period.
"Some protections have not been included in this announcement, such as the ban on Statutory Demands and Winding up petitions. Without these, and County Court judgements, the protections that have been extended will be undermined. Nonetheless, we hope those landlords who haven’t agreed settlements with their tenants will use this extra time and negotiate a reasonable deal that shares the impact of coronavirus fairly.”