The protection is for businesses who are struggling to cope with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly those in the hospitality and retail industries. The Government is clear that businesses that can pay any or all of their rent, should do so.
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick said that this will be the 'final' extension of the ban on evictions, after it was originally expected to end in September 2020. The extension is intended to give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent.
The position for landlords and tenants under section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 is as follows:
The following restrictions will also be extended until 31 March 2021:
Further guidance to support the negotiations between landlords and tenants will be published and will sit alongside the voluntary Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government also unveiled plans to carry out a review of the commercial landlord and tenant legislation to reflect the current economic conditions. The review, due to be launched early in 2021, will consider a range of issues including ways to improve collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and changes to the leasing process.