13 Apr 2021

Throughout the last year many businesses have been forced to close in line with public health restrictions and faced significant periods of disruption to revenue. In response, Government introduced legislation to prevent landlords of commercial properties from being able to evict tenants for not paying rent; to restrict landlords’ abilities to recover rental arrears through the seizure of tenants’ goods; and to restrict the service of statutory demands and winding up petitions.

With this call for evidence, the Government’s objective is to gather more evidence to understand how landlords and tenants are responding to the build-up of rent arrears that has occurred as a result of businesses being unable to trade normally during the pandemic. This will inform a better understanding of the risk to economic recovery posed by remaining rent debts, and to understand how landlords and tenants are adjusting existing lease terms to reflect the period of recovery that many tenant businesses will need once the trading restrictions are lifted. The evidence gathered will inform government policy regarding the exit from the existing measures and any need for additional measures to preserve viable businesses and the jobs that they provide.

The measures which are the subject of this call for evidence are:

  • The moratorium on commercial lease evictions established by s82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020; and
  • The restrictions on the use of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) established by the The Taking Control of Goods (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021.

The deadline for response is the 4th May 2021. We would encourage members to respond to this consultation. 

British Property Federation initative:

The British Property Federation has also launched a new national campaign to raise awareness among commercial property owners of the Government’s Call for Evidence, to make sure as many property owners as possible have the opportunity to make their experiences and views known.

The campaign will provide the Government with further evidence of both the extensive support being provided to tenants and the pressure this continues to exert on property owners of all sizes.

The campaign provides a platform through which property owners of all sizes can share their stories with Government anonymously and attend open meetings on the commercial rent moratoria.

Author

Jacqui Bungay

Jacqui Bungay

AREF Secretariat, AREF

Jacqui provides policy guidance and secretariat services to the AREF Board and AREF Management Committee as well as the following AREF Committees: Corporate Governance, ESG & Impact Investing, Investor, Public Affairs, Research and Information and Retails Funds. In addition, Jacqui monitors members’ compliance with AREF’s Code of Practice. 

Jacqui joined AREF in 2014 after working for over 25 years in fund compliance, client relationships and administration at Natwest Trustee & Depositary Services.