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Coronavirus Act 2020 – Update for Commercial Landlords

Published 21 September 2020

The Business Tenancies (Protection from Forfeiture: Relevant Period) (Coronavirus) (England) (No 2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/994) have been made, extending the protections from forfeiture for non-payment of rent for business tenancies in England to 31 December 2020.

Initially, the protections for commercial tenants applied up until 30 June 2020 before being extended to 30 September 2020.

Statutory instrument 994 adjusts the relevant period under the Coronavirus Act 2020, section 82(1), from 29 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. This prevents landlords from forfeiting any commercial lease for non-payment of rent during this period. View the Explanatory Memorandum here.

A similar statutory instrument has already been introduced for Wales. The NI Assembly will be considering The Business Tenancies (Coronavirus) (Restriction on Forfeiture: Relevant Period) (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020 on 23 September 2020.

Whilst the Government is attempting to support commercial tenants by delaying an end to the moratorium, it does however beg the question of what the impact this extension will have on landlords, who will now be prevented for a further period of time from forfeiting any commercial lease for non-payment of rent.

A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument due to the temporary nature of the provision and no doubt landlords will be keen to know what mechanism is being considered by the Government for the gradual reintroduction of landlords’ legal remedies.

If you or your business is affected by any of these issues, please contact our Debt Recovery & Insolvency team to discuss your requirments.

Should you require any further information on the contents of this article, please contact David McAlinden or Billy Muir at MKB Law on 028 9024 2450 or info@mkblaw.co.uk

This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.

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