On the10 March 2021, the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, at a press conference announced an updated package of measures to support business owners and residential tenants. I have outlined below the key proposals:
The restrictions on forfeiture of business tenancies for non-payment of rent are to continue in England until 30 June 2021. A similar extension to 30 June 2021 was issued in Wales on 9 March 2021.
Legislation is being introduced to increase the minimum unpaid rent that must be outstanding before CRAR can be used. This will increase to 457 days between 25 March and 23 June 2021, and 554 days between 24 June and 30 June 2021. It is expected that this will apply to England and Wales.
The government is launching a call for evidence on commercial rents to build a picture of how successful negotiations between landlords and tenants to deal with arrears have been. The call for evidence will also set out potential steps that government could take after 30 June, which may include a phased withdrawal of current protections or legislative options targeted at those businesses most impacted by COVID-19.
The press release has reiterated the government’s intention to carry out a review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation later this year. This includes the current security of tenure and lease renewal arrangements under Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
The restrictions on residential evictions in England will now continue until at least 31 May 2021. Exemptions will still apply for the most serious cases, but it is not clear whether these will be the same as under the current regulations.
The increased notice periods, being six months in most cases, will continue to apply until at least 31 May 2021.
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