The Government has confirmed that it will be renewing the measures it introduced to protect tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commercial tenants benefit from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent. This measure was due to expire on 31 March 2021, and despite the Government confirming in December 2020 that this would be the final extension to protections from the threat of eviction, the Government has announced that the restriction on forfeiture will in fact be extended until 30 June 2021.
The Government has also renewed the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent, which was due to expire on 31 March 2021, but has now been extended until 30 June 2021. This measure will increase the total number of days’ outstanding rent required for CRAR to be used to 457 days if CRAR is to be used between 25 March and 23 June, increasing to 554 days’ if CRAR is to be used between 24 and 30 June. It is not yet clear whether the Government will extend the measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 restricting the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions which is due to expire on 31 March 2021.