The UK Government announced on Friday, 23 April 2020 that it intends to ban the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions until 30 June 2020 

The UK Government's announcement was updated on 25 April .

The ban on the use of statutory demands will be backdated to those made from 1 March 2020.

It is not clear if the ban will only apply to demands that are served on or after 1 March 2020. It may include any demands that expire after 1 March. It will depend on what the UK Government means by "use".

If a statutory demand is not caught by the ban, a petition to wind up based on the expired demand will presumably be treated by the courts in the new way: the court will carry out a preliminary assessment to establish if the tenant's reason for non-payment is for COVID-19 reasons.

The Bill is not yet law, but the UK Government's intention is unmistakable. We would expect the Scottish Courts to follow that intention at present, despite it not being clear that the Bill will apply to Scotland.


Matt Farrell