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Communities Secretary unveils “final” three-month extension to business evictions ban, launches review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation

The ban on business evictions has been extended until the end of March 2021, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.

Robert Jenrick has also launched a review of what he called the “outdated” commercial landlord and tenant legislation, “to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions”.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the "final" extension to protections from the threat of eviction would give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. “The government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.”

Further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants is to be published shortly.

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The review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation will meanwhile consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants “and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond”.

Jenrick said: “I am extending protections from the threat of eviction for businesses unable to pay their rent until March 2021, taking the length of these measures to one year. This will help them recover from the impact of the pandemic and plan for the future.

“This support is for the businesses struggling the most during the pandemic, such as those in hospitality – however, those that are able to pay their rent should do so.

“We are witnessing a profound adjustment in commercial property. It is critical that landlords and tenants across the country use the coming months to reach agreements on rent wherever possible and enable viable businesses to continue to operate.”

Further guidance to support tenants and landlords to continue to work together to agree rent payment options where businesses are struggling will be published shortly, the Ministry said.

The government will also extend insolvency measures on restricting statutory demands and winding up petitions until the end of March.

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

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