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Ban on Commercial Evictions to be Extended Until March 2022

Ban on Commercial Evictions Extended until March 2022
16 June 2021
 

The UK Treasury have announced an extension to the ban on commercial evictions, until March 2022.

The debt moratorium was originally extended until 30 June to ensure businesses are supported as they re-open. Research by Remit Consulting shows that commercial property rent arrears since March 2020 have amassed to over £6 billion

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:

"This special scheme reflects the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and responds to the unique challenges faced by some businesses. It strikes the right balance between protecting landlords while also helping businesses most in need, so they are able to reopen when it is safe to do so.

"They will ensure many viable businesses can continue to operate and debts accrued as a result of the pandemic are resolved to mutual benefit swiftly. The government has committed £350 billion to keep businesses running, people in jobs and ensure we can build back better from the pandemic."

 

 

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Companies in leisure-based industries, such as nightclubs and theatres, are still unable to reopen under current lockdown rules which have been delayed by at least four weeks.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said in March 2021: "Extending the moratorium is a sensible and positive step by the Government. It was really the only option for businesses that are on the brink of reopening but have piled up so much rent debt over the past year."

 

“The majority of commercial leases are now covered by agreements between property owners and tenants on how to manage rent arrears, with millions of pounds of support provided to vulnerable tenants and the retail property market re-setting fast. Yet well-capitalised businesses continue to exploit the moratoriums and pay no rent at the expense of the local authorities, pensions and savings funds that own the high street."

 

–Melanie Leech

Chief Executive, British Property Federation 

 

British Property Federation Says Government Must Lift Moratoriums

 

The British Property Federation (BPF) recently published data that suggests commercial property owners and tenants are working collaboratively – and fears of mass evictions, widespread legal action and aggressive landlord behaviour are unfounded.

The federation believes that moratoriums are now only serving to perpetuate "bad behaviour" among a small minority of the market, starve small property owners of income and inhibit vital investment in our town centres.

 

50 Per Cent of March 2020 Rents Paid

 

In a study of 16,320 retail, hospitality and leisure property leases across the UK, 50 per cent of rent owed from March 2020 has been paid, and property owners and tenants have reached an agreement on a further 27 per cent. Agreements include new payments plans, waivers, and rent holidays and deferrals.

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation, commented:

“The majority of commercial leases are now covered by agreements between property owners and tenants on how to manage rent arrears, with millions of pounds of support provided to vulnerable tenants and the retail property market re-setting fast. Yet well-capitalised businesses continue to exploit the moratoriums and pay no rent at the expense of the local authorities, pensions and savings funds that own the high street.

“Government must take action now, when most businesses are open and trading, to end this scandal.

“For those tenants simply refusing to engage – they must understand that rent arrears are debts and the onus is on the tenant to engage, be transparent, provide financial information and make the case for concessions. Property owners will continue to support those tenants in genuine distress.

Picture: a photograph of the exterior of The Gherkin in London

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 16 June 2021

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