Deadline for Ban on Evictions for Businesses Extended

The deadline for a ban on evictions for businesses which originally was due to end on December 31st 2020 has been extended, and business owners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been given further protection from eviction until the end of March 2021.

The announcement, by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick in December last year, is hoped to provide landlords and tenants an extra 3 months to come to an agreement on any unpaid rent.  However, the government made it clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so and this should not be seen as a payment holiday.

Insolvency measures have also been extended till the end of March, restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions.

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.

The announcement builds on the extra government support for businesses, including targeted VAT cuts, extension of government-backed loan schemes, grants of up to £3,000 for premises that must close, and £1.1 billion for councils to enable them to support businesses in their area.

Whilst businesses have been given access to such financial support from the Government, Landlords have not, so businesses should try and use these funds where possibly to pay towards any rent arrears, even in part, to minimise any debt accumulating between themselves and their landlord.

Alongside this, Mr Jenrick also announced a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions.

Expert Landlord and Tenant Solicitors

Whilst there have been special measures put in place to postpone any forced evictions, it should be noted that this does not suspend the right to rent or other payments, only the right to forfeit the lease for non-payment until the extension ends. Landlords or tenants who feel they are facing a dispute over their agreement, should they not be able to come to an amicable agreement on their own, should seek expert legal advice on what rights they are entitled to and on what the best course of dispute resolution might be depending on their circumstances.

Regardless of the complexity of your landlord and tenant and property law matter, our specialist landlord and tenant solicitors in Portsmouth and Waterlooville, have the knowledge and expertise to help. We will explain all the options available to you and guide you through the process every step of the way. So whether you are simply seeking advice regarding a tenancy lease or if you have a dispute with your landlord or tenant, we have the expertise and experience to assist you with your landlord and tenant matters whatever they are.

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Please note that this article is not intended as legal or professional advice, it is for general guidance only and updates to the law may have changed since it was published.