The government has announced its intention to grant further grace periods to tenants of commercial premises, by extending the current forfeiture moratorium and restriction of the 'commercial rent arrears recovery' procedure (CRAR) until 25 March 2022. The current restrictions were due to end on 30 June 2021. For more information about the current restrictions, please see our previous blog.
Winding up petitions based on statutory demands with pandemic-related arrears are restricted for a further three months.
The total number of days’ outstanding rent required for CRAR will be 554 days.
Outstanding rent arrears which built up when a business had to remain closed during the pandemic, are to be 'ringfenced'. Landlords are expected to make allowances for the ringfenced rent arrears.
Introduction of a new binding arbitration process, which should be utilised where negotiations prove fruitless.
The government hopes that these measures will facilitate recovery as businesses re-open, and ensures the high street is not awash with empty premises in the short-term. However, it leaves commercial landlords still wondering what the endgame is for tenants who have potentially accrued over 1 year of outstanding arrears.
The intended changes do not prohibit landlords from using the courts to seek recovery of tenant arrears. For more information about the options available to landlord, please see our blog on the topic.
If you have any concerns or questions about the intended changes or recovering tenant arrears and how it may impact you or your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our real estate disputes team or your usual Brodies' contact.