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New Laws to resolve remaining COVID-19 Commercial Rent announced

View profile for Michelle Cox
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New laws and a Code of Practice are being introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic.

The moratorium on forfeiture and restrictions remain in place until 25 March 2022.  Changes introduced this week (Tuesday 9 November 2021), will see negotiations for unpaid rent during the pandemic underpinned by a new Code of Practice providing landlords and tenants with a process for settling outstanding debts before the new arbitration process comes into force.  

The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill will apply in respect of unpaid rent arrears relating to business tenants which were mandated to close their premises or cease trading in whole or in part during the COVID-19 pandemic and varies depending on the type of business.

From 25 March 2022, new laws introduced in the Bill will establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement, following the principles in the Code of Practice.  In addition, the Bill will prevent landlords from issuing debt proceedings whilst arbitration is available or ongoing.

These measures will provide further protection to businesses which had to close and accumulated debts during the pandemic.

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