New legislation will prevent the eviction of commercial tenants until at least 2021, it has been announced.
The Government said the new rules are designed to protect jobs and business owners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While businesses are still expected to pay their rent where possible, the temporary measure will give struggling firms a chance to rebuild their business over the Autumn and Christmas period without the “threat of eviction”.
The new legislation will also extend the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of the year.
During this period, commercial landlords and tenants will be asked to negotiate and come to a fair agreement using the new Code of Practice as a guide.
The voluntary code, introduced this summer, is designed to encourage commercial property stakeholders to work together to protect viable businesses.
Commenting on the announcement, Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, said: “I am announcing today that we are extending support to protect those businesses that are unable to pay their rent from eviction to the end of the year. This will stop businesses going under and protect jobs over the coming months.”
He added: “This government is committed to supporting businesses and our high streets at this difficult time, and this extension of support will help businesses recover from the impacts of the pandemic and plan for the future.”
BJ Chong, a Partner with Palmers, who specialises in Commercial Law, said: “The legislation forms part of the Government’s wide-ranging business support and rescue package.
“This also includes Business Rates Relief, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Bounce Back Loans (BBL) scheme, and grant funding of up to £25,000 available through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
“In these continuing times of uncertainty for commercial tenants and landlords, it is important to ensure that your business is claiming the full level of emergency funding available. We can provide help and support and also assist with mitigating the effects of debt.”
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