January 4, 2021
Commercial Property Evictions Ban Extended Until March 2021
The Financial Timesreports that commercial tenants are currently benefiting from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent. This was due to end on 31 December, but now the Government has announced that the restriction of forfeiture will be extended until 31 March 2021.
While commercial landlords were expecting the renewal of protection for tenants, it will be of significant consolation that the government has also confirmed that this will be the final extension to the protections from the threat of eviction, giving tenants three months to reach an agreement with landlords on unpaid rent.
A large number of landlords and tenants have been proactively engaging to find a joint approach to navigate through the economic effects of the pandemic, there are many landlords are having to contend with tenants refusing to pay rent even though they are able and should be paying.
The announcement makes it clear to all that this is the last extension for those who can pay rent and have refused to do so. The Government will be publishing further guidance soon to support negotiations between landlords and tenants to agree on rent payment options.
Additionally, the Government will be extending the measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 restricting the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions and the restrictions on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent, both of which were due to expire on 31 December 2020, but have now been extended until 31 March 2021 as well.
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