The business evictions ban is extended until end March 2021

by Property118.com News Team

14:51 PM, 10th December 2020
About a month ago

The business evictions ban is extended until end March 2021

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The business evictions ban is extended until end March 2021

The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021.

This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants 3 months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. The government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.

Further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants will also be published shortly.

The move will also support businesses worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, helping them to rebuild over the winter period.

Alongside this, Mr Jenrick has also announced a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions.

This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond.

Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP 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.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We have stood by businesses across the country throughout this pandemic, and as we head into the New Year we will make sure they continue to have the support they need to keep their finances stable, protect jobs and build back better.

“There is still some uncertainty ahead, but knowing that they won’t be evicted by their landlord will give thousands of business owners some breathing space and the additional confidence they need to plan for their futures.”

Further guidance to support tenants and landlords to continue to work together to agree rent payment options where businesses are struggling will be published shortly.

Additional guidance published early next year will sit alongside the government’s Code of Practice, published in June, to encourage all parties to work together to protect viable businesses and ensure a swift economic recovery.

The government will also extend insolvency measures on restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions until the end of March.

The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent will also automatically extend to the end of March, in line with the moratorium’s expiry date. This allows businesses sufficient breathing space to pay rent owed.


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Comments

Darren Peters

19:32 PM, 10th December 2020
About a month ago

Would I be correct in thinking then that a company could trade between March 2020 and March 2021 paying no rent or rates, perhaps start to build up other debts then intentionally fold Mid March 2021 with no consequence to the directors (assuming no personal guarantees)?

NEIL T

14:13 PM, 11th December 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 10/12/2020 - 19:32
The short answer, Darren, is yes. But in fact, it's never been difficult for tenants to lead the landlord on with promises to pay later. Only to find that 3 months has passed before taking action. I have on a number of occasions repossessed myself during the hours of daylight and with no occupants present; changed the locks and then waited for WW3. It never comes. The Tenant(s) usually pay up and behave from then on. But of course if your tenant is already 3 months behind, you now have to wait another 3 months before you can evict them. Best to cajole them along until 31st march and then repossess and hopefully sue them for any back rent. It's a difficult time for them and us, but I fully support this extension even though it's costing me dear.

TrevL

18:34 PM, 11th December 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Darren Peters at 10/12/2020 - 19:32
Although the length of the potential protraction of not paying is new, the legal structure, particularly of limited liability companies, has always been to confine losses to the capital invested in the business.....so yes, companies can and always have been able to run up debts while the private assets of the directors are protected.

Covid has simply brought it to the fore, particularly in respect of rental income, which may have previously been more certain.


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