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Commercial tenants protected from eviction for a further nine months

17 June 2021

Landlords of commercial property will be unable to evict tenants for unpaid rent for another nine months, the government has announced.

This was due to end at the end of this month, but will now extend into next year and means that tenants will not face court attendance for unpaid rent.

The announcement was made following the extension of lockdown restrictions, which had been due to be lifted next week but have been extended following a rise in Covid-19 infection numbers in England.

According to the BBC, retail and hospitality businesses have amassed £5bn in rental debt during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay told the Commons the "current moratorium to protect commercial tenants from eviction" will end on 25 March, 2022.

Plans were also announced for a binding arbitration scheme to assist in resolving disputes between landlords and commercial tenants, which is intended to be in place when the moratorium closes next year.

Mr Barclay said the scheme would "strike the right balance" in protecting landlords, while supporting companies in need.

He further stated that commercial tenants should resume paying rent as soon as "restrictions are removed on their sector if they are not already doing so".

There has been considerable discussion over how many companies have ceased to pay rent without reasonable justification since the start of the pandemic last year.

Although some businesses have remained open, others have been closed for more than a year and have seen their revenues severely affected.

The ban on evicting commercial tenants was introduced in April 2020 to assist businesses with the impact of the pandemic.

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