Ministers have announced today that the eviction protections for commercial tenants will continue until March 2022, pushing back the planned expiry at the end of this month. Restrictions on landlords using laws that allow them to recover rent arrears by taking control of a tenant’s goods and selling them are also expected to be extended.
Steve Barclay MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, outlined in a statement to the House of Commons that a new arbitration mechanism will be introduced in legislation to help landlords and commercial tenants resolve disputes over bad debt.
This move has been welcomed by the Night Time Industries Association, alongside the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night Time Economy, who have been pushing for a solution to the debts crisis facing nightlife venues and operators.
Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the Night Time Industries Association, says:
“We welcome the announcement today that the Government will be extending the ban on evictions for commercial tenants until March 2022. It follows extensive work highlighting this issue by the NTIA in conjunction with other trade bodies, as well as the APPG for the Night Time Economy led by Jeff Smith MP and Christian Wakeford MP. The announcement is a much-needed reprieve for tenants in the Night Time Economy at an incredibly difficult time following the hammer blow dealt by the delay in the roadmap.”
“We are also pleased to see that the Government intends to bring forward legislation to introduce an arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes over legacy debts. We await further details of how the system will work in practice, and will seek to ensure the new system doesn’t put unfair burdens on tenants in the Night Time Economy.”
Jeff Smith MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night Time Economy, says:
“The extension of the forfeiture moratorium is welcome news for the many thousands of night time economy businesses across the country burdened with debts through no fault of their own. We have been working alongside these businesses to highlight the impact this debt crisis has had on the sector and push for solutions, and we are pleased to see the Government has taken notice.”
“An arbitration mechanism to resolve rental disputes is an important step in the right direction and we stand ready to work with Government on ensuring this legislation creates a system that is fair for tenants and landlords alike.”