The British Beauty Council has worked with Government to secure a fair deal for commercial tenants within the beauty sector when the current eviction protection ends in March 2022.
New regulations and a Code of Practice are being introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts accrued during the pandemic. The Government is also bringing in measures to protect commercial tenants from debt claims, including County Court Judgements (CCJs), High Court Judgements (HCJs) and bankruptcy petitions, issued against businesses for rent arrears accrued during the COVID crisis.
This means that as well as the protection from eviction that is in place until 25 March next year, landlords will also be unable to go after tenants for debt claims. This will provide further protection to businesses that had to close and that accumulated debts during the pandemic, giving them time to get back on their feet.
The BBCo lobbied to ensure businesses within the beauty sector would qualify within the eligibility criteria for arbitration in the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill. The Bill establishes a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement.
Prior to the new arbitration process coming into force next March, a new Code of Practice has been released to help with negotiations and provide landlords and tenants with a clear process for settling outstanding debts.
Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer commented “Our sector has had a tough time during this pandemic. Businesses are starting to get back on their feet but the level of debt they have accrued means there will need to be a careful balance to ensure their recovery isn’t threatened by servicing their debts prematurely. It’s important that they are given time to rebuild and recover without threat of losing their premises. These government measures will help with this.”
The new laws and Code of Practice will be applicable in England and Wales.