The eviction ban has been extended until 25 March 2022 for those businesses that have remained closed during the pandemic and are therefore unable to pay the rent on their commercial property.
Statutory demands and winding up petitions will also remain restricted for a further three months.
A ban on commercial evictions does provide short-term respite for the most vulnerable tenants, specifically those that are still unable to trade. However, the Government intends to bring into play new legislation that will deliver improved longer-term clarity for both tenants and landlords.
To begin with, debts will be ringfenced to protect tenants that are still struggling. Tenants and landlords will then be encouraged to resolve disputes independently – devising sustainable payment plans to help deliver increased certainty for both the tenant and landlord.
If an agreement cannot be reached between the tenant and landlord, the new legislation would require a binding arbitration process to be put in place to enable both parties to come to a formal, legally binding agreement.
As has been stipulated with previous eviction extensions, it remains the case that if a business is able to pay their rent, then they must do so. Tenants should also resume paying their rent in accordance with their leases if they are open and trading.
It is hoped that the extension of the eviction ban and the introduction of legislation to aid viable payment plans between tenants and landlords will prove to be effective steps in helping both parties in their financial recovery from this pandemic.