Commercial property: Government extends evictions ban until March 2021

The Government has confirmed that the eviction ban for commercial tenants has been extended until 31 March 2021.

The ban was introduced to protect business owners affected by the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure the future relationship between commercial landlords and tenants and allow businesses to recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.

The Government has stated that it will be the ‘final extension’ to the legislation preventing evictions, giving landlords and tenants an additional three months to agree on any unpaid rent, stating that it is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, then they should do so.

The move is set to support businesses that have been the most affected by the pandemic, with those in the retail industry seeing reduced footfall and enforced closures, while the hospitality sector has seen further enforced closures during both the national lockdowns and local lockdowns that are now in force.

Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, has also stated that the Commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be subject to review, to address concerns that the current framework doesn’t reflect the economic conditions that businesses are operating in.

Alok Sharma, Business Secretary, said: “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 has also stated that restrictions on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery to recover unpaid rent will also be extended until the end of March, in line with the eviction ban extension.

For help and advice on matters relating to commercial property, contact Mary Brennan at Mackrell.Solicitors today.