After a great deal of debate and speculation, the Government this week announced a further extension to the ban on enforcement action by landlords for non payment of rent in commercial premises.
The moratorium, quite rightly introduced in March when the country went into full lockdown, was originally due to end on 30 June 2020 and was intended to give struggling tenants who were unable to trade some much needed breathing space. The original period was initially extended for a further 3 months and is now set to expire at the end of the year.
We have seen many open and progressive discussions between our landlord and tenant clients during this time, which have led to cooperation, concessions, restructured lease obligations and payment plans which enable both parties to navigate their way through this difficult time. However, despite clear guidance from the Government that those tenants who could pay, should pay, it is clear that this protection is being exploited by some tenants who are trading profitably, placing the burden unfairly on the property owners who are then less able to help those tenants who need the most support.
There are many in the industry who think these protections have now gone too far.