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Ban on business tenant evictions extended to 25 March 2022

The Government announced that the ban on landlords evicting business tenants would be extended until 25 March 2022.

If a suitable right is included in a business tenancy agreement, landlords would ordinarily have the right to evict a tenant by a process known as “forfeiture” by either making a court application or by re-entering the property and changing the locks if a tenant is behind or “in arrears” on their rent.

The ban on a landlord’s usual right to “forfeit” a business lease was introduced as part of a package of measures to assist businesses during the disruption associated with the covid-19 pandemic and has been extended several times.

The announcement was made ahead of the June 2021 rent payment “quarter day”, which is still used in many business and farming leases.

A similar extension has been made to the ban on the landlord’s usual right to repossess and sell tenant’s goods to pay for rent arrears.

Whilst previous extensions of the ban have been labelled as “final” it seems that the Government intends to use the time between now and March 2022 to introduce laws to require landlords and tenants to come to an agreement on how to deal with rent arrears that may have built up during the period in which the ban has been in force.

Whilst proposals for these new laws to force landlords and tenants to talk have not yet been published, the Government is urging landlords and tenants to communicate constructively and has issued a non-legally-binding code of practice to assist the landlord and tenant relationship during current time. A link to the code of practice can be found here.

In many cases we are seeing landlords working positively with tenants to accommodate the current difficulties by agreeing rent holidays or concessions in consideration for an extension of a current lease or the relinquishing of any break right, in both cases re-affirming the commitment to each other.

If you are a business tenant and are unsure about your situation in your business property or about the terms of your lease, or if you are a landlord and are unsure of your rights and any restrictions on them at this current time, our team of commercial property and dispute resolution lawyers are here to help with any queries.
Our highly experienced Commercial Property Team have helped thousands of business landlord and tenants in our Nottinghamshire region. We can help with drafting or advising on leases or help to negotiating arrears or disputes. Call us on 01623468468 or use the web enquiry form below and a member of our team will be in touch within 24 hours.
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