Campaigns

17 Jun 2021

Rent moratorium extended for those 'most in need'

The rent moratorium, protecting commercial tenants from aggressive debt collection an eviction, has been extended for businesses 'most in need'.

The Government made the announcement yesterday (June 16, 2021), extending the moratorium until March 25, 2022. It was due to expire on June 30, 2021.

However, the statement stipulates: "The extension applies to all businesses, but the new measures that will be introduced by primary legislation will only cover those impacted by closures. This mean that rent debt accumulated before March 2020 and after the date when relevant sector restrictions on trading are lifted, will be actionable by landlords as soon as the tenant protection measures are lifted."

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: "The extension to the rent moratorium and the ring-fencing of debt is another campaigning success for Bira.

"It is obvious that retailers with rent debt incurred during the closure periods need further protection and more time as they look to re-build their businesses. At the end of the extended period, there will be binding arbitration to resolve any outstanding disputes – another Bira request.

"Whilst the extension is good news, we still await some important details to fully brief our members. We are keen to ensure that there are no loopholes for landlords to exploit.

"Finally, our message to retailers is that it is vital that rent is paid if you are trading. Any debt incurred whilst open will not be protected so it is impotent for retailers and landlords to sit down and find a practical solution to addressing the debt."

Bira is seeking further classifaction on the types of businesses covered and will update when this has been made available.

 Read the full statement here

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