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Bira welcomes new protection for retailers from aggressive debt recovery


Temporary new measures to protect small businesses against aggressive debt recovery during the Covid-19 crisis have been welcomed by Bira. 

Today (April 23), Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced landlords and investors will be asked to work collaboratively with high street businesses unable to pay their bills through the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures – introduced under the Coronavirus Act and included in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill – mean that aggressive debt recovery tactics will be temporarily banned and businesses will instead be asked to pay what they can afford.

Landlords will also be prevented from using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

It is hoped the move will safeguard the high street. However, the Government is also calling on tenants to pay rent where they can afford it or what they can in recognition of the strains felt by commercial landlords too.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “Bira members have told us how frustrated they have been by the lack of support and help by many landlords.

“We are pleased to see the Government take this action which will be a relief to many independent retailers who already have a lot of problems to deal with.

“We raised the concerns of our members and we are pleased to see that the Government has taken notice.”

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