The Government is to introduce new measures to safeguard high street shops and other companies against aggressive debt recovery actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes to legislation include:

  • Statutory demands, made between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, will be temporarily banned;
  • Winding up petitions, presented from Monday 27 April through to 30 June 2020, will be temporarily suspended, where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus;
  • Landlords will be prevented from using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR), unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent; and
  • A moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants for at least a three month period.

These new measures will be included in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill.

However, while landlords are urged to give their tenants the breathing space needed, the Government calls on tenants to pay rent, where they can afford it, in recognition of the strains felt by commercial landlords too.

These new emergency measures are in addition to the Government’s existing support packages for businesses and workers during the current economic emergency. Details of the Coronavirus Financial Support Measures for businesses can be found here.