• International Workplace
  • 25 March 2020

Ban on evictions for businesses who miss rent payments

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of Coronavirus will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.

Many landlords and tenants are already reaching voluntary arrangements about rental payments due shortly, but it has been recognised that businesses struggling with their cashflow due to Coronavirus remain worried about eviction.

These measures, included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next three months.

As commercial tenants will still be liable for rent after this period, the government is also actively monitoring the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and continues to be in dialogue with them.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said:

“We are protecting both people and their businesses by providing the urgent support they need. We know many commercial landlords are already setting a great example by working closely with tenants and offering rent deferrals or holidays. However, these new measures will provide reassurance to businesses struggling with cashflows and ensure no commercial tenant is evicted if they cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus over the next three months.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, said:

“We are taking steps to change the law so that no company can be forced out of its premises due to loss of income. Alongside our support for workers and £330bn of business loans and guarantees, this will help make a real difference to firms across the country trying to protect jobs.”

Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman, said:

“Small businesses will wholeheartedly welcome the decision to ban evictions for commercial tenants for three months. This will give piece of mind to millions of small businesses who are desperately struggling with their cash flow.

“We know sensible conversations between landlords and commercial tenants are taking place – but having this legislative backstop to prevent evictions during the worst of the crisis will provide much needed peace of mind for many small businesses.”

The Coronavirus Bill also includes new measures to ensure that Business Improvement Districts (BID) are equipped to continue their role in managing the impact of the crisis on local economies and helping town centres and high streets recover.