Following input from the British Beauty Council last year, a new law has now come into place to help landlords and tenants work through conflicts around rent debt that have come as a result of the pandemic.
The ‘Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022’ brings in a legally binding arbitration process for eligible commercial landlords and tenants who have been unable to reach an agreement to help resolve disputes about certain pandemic-related rent debt. 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.
The British Beauty Council lobbied during the drafting of the legislation to ensure that the personal care sector would be included within the eligibility criteria of any support offered.
A Code of Practice on commercial rent has also been updated and strengthened to accompany the new law, setting out what is expected of both landlords and tenants throughout arbitration. This can also be used by any business struggling with rent arrears.
Speaking about the new legislation, Victoria Brownlie Chief Policy Officer at the British Beauty Council said “As an industry we accept that the support offered during the worst period of the pandemic, specifically in this case a ban on landlords being able to service eviction notices for non-payment of rent, cannot last forever. However what is important is to give businesses the opportunity to get back on their feet without fear that as soon as this protection comes to and end that they’ll be immediately forced out of their premises by waiting landlords. We hope this legislation will address this.”
The law will apply in England and Wales. More information can be found here.