June 2021: Landlord UpdateThe Government's Latest Announcement
On 16th June, the Government made their anticipated announcement in connection with the moratorium on forfeiture and commercial rent debts. We anticipated that the moratorium would not be lifted at the end of June, but the Government's direction had been the subject of much speculation.
What did the Government announce?
The Government announced that commercial tenants will continue to be protected from eviction, to give them the ‘breathing space they need… helping to protect jobs”. Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has confirmed the following…
Legislation will be introduced in this session to ring-fence outstanding rent that has built up due to the pandemic.
The Legislation is designed to help Landlords and Tenants work together to find a solution and the law will ensure a binding arbitration process so that the agreement is formally documented and is legally binding.
Businesses who can pay rent must do so and tenants should start to pay their rent as soon as restrictions change.
Existing measures to protect commercial tenants from eviction will be extended to 25th March 2022.
Statutory demands and winding up petitions will remain restricted for a further three months.
Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery
The use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) will also be extended. The total number of days’ outstanding rent will remain at 554 days.
The extension applies to all businesses but the new measures that will be introduced will only cover those impacted by closures.
The arbitration process will be delivered by private arbitrators but in accordance with guidelines that will be set out in legislation.
What does the latest update mean for our clients and tenants?
Banks Long & Co will continue to work closely with clients and tenants over the course of the coming months. We appreciate that, although restrictions are beginning to lift, it remains a difficult time for many.
Our established relationships with landlords and tenants enable us to work effectively should difficulties arise.
It is clear that there will be a number of changes over the course of the next 12 months, not only in relation to CRAR but also the additional arbitration process and anticipated changes to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Our experienced management team is well placed to navigate these changes, and we continue to provide clients with up-to-date, considered advice to ensure the continued performance of their property portfolio.