Covid-19 – Protection For Commercial Tenants Extended To March 2022
The Government has recognised that sorting out commercial rent debts will be key to enabling businesses to plan ahead with certainty and build back better from the pandemic. This resulted in the Government’s announcement on 16th June 2021 to provide further support for commercial tenants.
Businesses that have had to remain closed during the pandemic and are unable to pay rent on their commercial premises will continue to be protected from eviction. The Communities Secretary announced that legislation will be introduced to ring-fence outstanding unpaid rent that has built up when a business has had to remain closed during the pandemic. Landlords will be expected to make allowances for the ring-fenced rent arrears from the specific periods of closure due to the pandemic, resulting in the sharing of the financial impact with their tenants.
The intention is for legislation to help tenants and landlords work together to come to a landlord tenant agreement on how to handle the money owed, perhaps by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer term repayment plan.
The hope is that such agreements will be reached between landlords and tenants without the need for intervention but, failing which, a binding arbitration process will result in a legal agreement that both parties must adhere to.
In order to protect landlords, the Government is making clear that businesses who are able to pay rent, must do so. Tenants should start paying their rent as soon as restrictions are lifted and they are given the green light to open.
Existing measures in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25th March 2022, with statutory demands and winding-up petitions also remaining restricted for a further three months to protect companies whose debts relate to the pandemic.
The Government is encouraging landlords and tenants to keep working together to reach mutually beneficial landlord tenant agreements and GA Solicitors can help with the negotiation and completion of the same.
If you’re looking for advice on commercial property or are looking for a commercial landlord tenant agreement to be drafted and/or negotiated then you can contact me directly by calling 01752 203500 or by emailing david.stone@GAsolicitors.com