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Government extends ban on evictions of commercial property tenants

The Government has announced it is extending a ban on business evictions until the end of 2020 reports commercial property agent Prop-Search; a move welcomed by businesses but that puts increased pressure on many landlords.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the eviction ban will now continue until the end of the year in a move the Government hopes will stave off potential job losses, particularly given that the furlough scheme ends next month.

Announcing the extension, Mr Jenrick said: “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.”

The Government 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. 

Simon Toseland, a Director of Prop-Search, said: “Measures were put in place at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to protect struggling firms from being evicted from premises.  This protection was scheduled to expire at the end of September.”

“The extended support will benefit many firms who have received other subsidies such as the business rates holiday for the retail and hospitality sectors, as well as Government grants and business loans.”

He continued: “Whilst of course support should be given, particularly to small firms that are the backbone of our economy, the extension of the moratorium undoubtedly puts pressure on many landlords.  The extension will mean that many landlords by December 2020 may not have received rent for nearly 12 months, which will undoubtedly cause issues for those affected.”

The Government has again called on landlords and tenants to work together to agree rent payment options for the rest of the year if tenants are struggling.  In June, it published a Code of Practice to support these discussions.  The Code of Practice was produced alongside leading businesses and trade associations to help guide and encourage all parties to work together to protect viable businesses and ensure a swift recovery.

Thursday, September 17, 2020