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Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium Extended

9th December 2020

The government has today announced that the eviction moratorium, that has already been extended twice since its introduction in March of this year, will be extended through to March 2021.

Whilst the news will be welcomed by many struggling commercial tenants across the UK, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that this will be the final extension of the eviction ban designed to protect businesses through the pandemic. Landlords and tenants now have three more months to come to an agreement on any unpaid rent.

The restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover rent will also automatically extend to the end of March, in line with the moratorium’s expiry date.

The move will provide additional protection to businesses hardest hit through the pandemic, particularly those in the hospitality and leisure industries. However, the Communities Secretary has stated that “those that are able to pay their rent should do so.”

Additionally, Business Secretary Alok Sharma commented:

“We have stood by businesses across the country throughout this pandemic, and as we head into the New Year we will make sure they continue to have the support they need to keep their finances stable, protect jobs and build back better.

There is still some uncertainty ahead, but knowing that they won’t be evicted by their landlord will give thousands of business owners some breathing space and the additional confidence they need to plan for their futures.”

However, many commercial tenants would argue that three months will not be long enough to allow them to rebuild and get back on their feet.

In addition to the extension, Robert Jenrick has also promised a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation. This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and how to improve the leasing process to ensure high streets and town centres thrive as the country recovers from the pandemic.

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