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22nd September 2020

Extended Protection for Commercial Tenants

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Boris Johnson is addressing the nation this afternoon and it is anticipated that he will again ask those that can to work from home and will impose a new nationwide 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants. With this tightening of all our freedoms there are calls on the government to extend the economic help they provided at the start of the pandemic.

In relation to commercial tenancies, the government announced on the 16th September that it was extending some of those protections, namely:

  • the protection from forfeiture of business tenancies for non-payment of rent under s82 of Coronavirus Act 2020 (due to expire on 30 September) will be extended to 31 December in England – matching the extension already announced for Wales.
  • the restrictions on the exercise of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) will be extended similarly (extending the number of days’ rent that must be outstanding to 276 days’ rent where the notice of enforcement is given on or before 24th December 2020 and 366 days’ rent where the notice of enforcement is given on or after 25th December 2020).
  • the government is also considering a similar extension to the restriction on statutory demands/winding-up introduced in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
As the country prepares for the second wave of the pandemic, it is yet to be seen whether these measures will be sufficient to achieve the government’s objective of protecting jobs, incomes and businesses. Whereas the extension to protections will be welcomed by struggling tenants, many of the remedies available to commercial landlords if their tenants default are again postponed. If you are a landlord or a tenant and require assistance on any commercial property matters please contact Patricia Kempson on 01604 463352 or click here to email her.