The Government has announced that it has extended the ban on commercial tenant evictions until at least 30 June 2021, in an effort to provide additional support to businesses as they begin to trade following the end of the UK’s third national lockdown.
The measure has been introduced in order to assist those businesses that have been most detrimentally impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, in particular bars and restaurants.
Responses to this measure have been mixed, with the British Chambers of Commerce welcoming the extension to help businesses ‘weather this period of tightened restrictions’, while Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, feels that where landlord and tenant relationships “have broken down and become toxic, the continuation of the moratorium will do nothing to unlock the stalemate and allow the market to re-set and recover”.
Certainly the extension of the moratorium will be beneficial for many hospitality and retail businesses as they seek to recoup the losses suffered over the past 12 months, however many commercial landlords may also find themselves out of pocket for a further three months.
In a press release on 10 March 2021, the government also launched a call for evidence on commercial rents and welcomed “a broad range of feedback” to assist in reviewing “the overall progress of negotiations between landlords and tenants”. The government has also stated that it will continue to “support commercial landlords and tenants to agree their own arrangements for paying or writing off rent debts by 30 June”.
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