You may have seen in the news today that the Government has announced that it will be extending the moratorium on the forfeiture of commercial leases and CRARs (commercial rent arrears recovery) until 25th March 2022. Their main objective in doing so is to protect jobs, by allowing businesses to continue to trade when they are struggling to pay their rent.
When the moratorium was first introduced last year, the Government encouraged landlords and tenants to resolve debt issues through negotiation or arbitration.
The Government now plans legislation, to be introduced in the current session of parliament, to support the orderly resolution of such debts. It will include a backstop: when negotiation is not successful, both parties will be required to undertake compulsory arbitration.
The Government stated today that tenants should start to pay rent either in accordance with their lease or with the arrangements they have agreed with their landlord, but its proffered solution where the tenant fails to pay or where agreement cannot be reached is to hamstring the landlord from using the usual enforcement process.
If you are a commercial landlord and would like to find out what other options are available, please give our Property team a call on 020 3223 0800 and they can discuss your options in more detail.