Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.
Many landlords and tenants are already having conversations and reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments due shortly but the Government recognises businesses struggling with their cashflow due to coronavirus remain worried about eviction.
These measures, included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next three months.
This builds on the unprecedented package of support announced for businesses who are affected by coronavirus.
As commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period, the Government is also actively monitoring the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and continues to be in dialogue with them.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said:
We are protecting both people and their businesses by providing the urgent support they need.
We know many commercial landlords are already setting a great example by working closely with tenants and offering rent deferrals or holidays.
However, these new measures will provide reassurance to businesses struggling with cashflows and ensure no commercial tenant is evicted if they cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus over the next three months.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, said:
We are taking unprecedented action and doing so at unprecedented speed, because we know that businesses and their employees need help now.
That is why we are taking steps to change the law so that no company can be forced out of its premises due to loss of income. Alongside our support for workers and £330 billion of business loans and guarantees, this will help make a real difference to firms across the country trying to protect jobs”
UKH welcomes breathing room for commercial tenants
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said: “With the next pending rent day falling this Wednesday, this move by the Government is hugely welcome and will help to protect jobs across the sector. The industry has been pressing ministers for several days to act on this crucial issue, and we are thankful they have responded positively to our concerns.
“While this removes the immediate cashflow pressure of quarter rent day, the Government has made clear that the negotiation is now with lessee and landlord to reach a solution on payment. Hospitality businesses want to work with landlords constructively during this crisis to find solutions and the hope now is that they enter into meaningful discussions on the optimum way forward.”