Commercial eviction ban extended to end of September

The government has extended the ban on commercial landlords evicting their tenants from June 30 to the end of September.

A voluntary code of conduct intended to end rental disputes between commercial tenants and landlords is set to be released ahead of next Wednesday.

Robert Jenrick, communities secretary, said: “As our high streets come to life and our town centres open for business, it is crucial that both landlords and tenants have clarity and reassurance as they seek to keep their finances stable and bounce back.

“That is why we are extending measures to protect those who are unable to pay rent from eviction so that businesses have the security they need to plan for their futures.

“And in recognition of the strain that the virus has had on our high streets, our new code, backed by leaders across the industry, will help unlock conversations on rent and future payments whilst ensuring best practice is displayed across.”

Katie Jacobson, partner at DLA Piper, said: “For a number of tenants, the most practical solution for rental payments will be some form of adjustment, temporary or otherwise, to the rent payable under relief.

“Not many landlords wish to take back retail space at this time due to market uncertainty, so there will be appetite from both parties to find middle ground and strike a deal.

“We are seeing deals in all shapes and sizes – from changes to the phasing for payment and reduced monthly rental payments, to full rental abatements and renegotiation of the lease length. What these arrangements all have in common is to share out the risk of payment in the short term.

“Landlords and tenants will need to make sure any resolutions are fully documented and displayed in very clear terms, signed by both parties to avoid any future disputes.”