8/2/21 – What happens when the moratorium ends?

In March last year, the government announced a moratorium on business evictions which has been periodically extended. The moratorium, which prevented commercial landlords from using forfeiture, bailiff action (CRAR) or issuing statutory demands / winding up petitions to recover unpaid rent, is due to end at the end of March 2021 and with the vaccination programme well under way it is unlikely the government will extend it again. So, what does this mean for businesses?

The measures taken by the government rightly gave struggling tenants a reprieve, however, rent remains payable and in many cases tenants will have built up considerable arrears, which will need to be addressed, when the moratorium ends. It is imperative tenants engage with their landlord and their managing agents.

The majority of commercial landlords have shown flexibility, understanding and commitment to assist their tenants in these exceptionally difficult times; in some cases, providing rent concessions or flexibility on payment and deferment, however, there needs to be an active dialogue between tenants and landlords. Where there isn’t or in a very small number of cases where the tenant has chosen not to pay the rent and taken advantage of the moratorium, time is running out to reach an agreement with the landlord, and the rights to forfeit a lease, issue statutory demands and take bailiff action will soon be revived.

For further information, contact Gautam Sirpal, Associate Director, in Aitchison Raffety’s Portfolio Management team on  0207 907 3711 or via email to gautam.sirpal@argroup.co.uk.