The Government has blocked commercial landlords from evicting small businesses from shops and other premises for another three months until the end of March 2021.
This moratorium was introduced earlier in the year and was expected to end on September 30. It was then extended until the end of December and will now round up at the end of March next year.
The move will come as a huge relief for small businesses who are having a hard time paying the rent.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “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.”
>See also: How to ask for a commercial rent freeze from your landlord
The government said that this ‘final extension’ would give tenants and landlords another three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent.
Further guidance to help with tenant and landlord negotiations is set to be published shortly. Many tenants are worried about paying outstanding rent once the moratorium ends. However, landlords claim that some tenants are large profitable businesses that are taking advantage of the current crisis.
The British Property Federation estimates total unpaid rent for UK rent for commercial property from the end of March until December comes to £4.5bn.
Andrew Goodacre, the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira)’s CEO, said: “Bira is delighted by the decision to extend the rent moratorium. We have been asking for this because of the challenges faced by independent retailers on the high street. We hope this leads to constructive discussions between tenants and landlords to find a positive solution when the moratorium ends in March 2021.”
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