A new law is now in place to help resolve certain remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets Paul Scully has announced today (Thursday 24 March).
The ‘Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022’ received Royal Assent today. This means that from today a legally binding arbitration process will be available for eligible commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement. This will resolve disputes about certain pandemic-related rent debt and help the market return to normal as quickly as possible.
The law applies to commercial rent debts of businesses which were mandated to close, in full or in part, from March 2020 until the date restrictions ended for their sector. Debts accrued at other times will not be in scope. The law comes into force today in England and Wales.
“This new law will give commercial tenants and landlords the ability to draw a line under the uncertainty caused by the pandemic so they can plan ahead and return to normality.
Landlords and tenants should keep working together to reach their own agreements where possible using our Code of Practice to help them, and we’ve made arbitration available as a last resort. Tenants who can repay their rent debts in full, should do so, and when they cannot, landlords should try to share the burden, so we can all move on.”
– Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Paul Scully
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have published a survey to gain feedback on the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 which will inform the monitoring and evaluation process of the bill. The survey will only take 10 minutes to complete and will be live until Friday 31st March.
Click here to take the survey.