New Government measures ban landlords from pursuing aggressive forms of rent recovery

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

New Government measures ban landlords from pursuing aggressive forms of rent recovery during Coronavirus crisis

Related tags Rent Rent arrears Landlord Government Coronavirus

New measures are being introduced to help protect any commercial tenants who are feeling the pressure from landlords pursuing aggressive forms of rent recovery.

The use of statutory demands and winding up orders are to be temporarily banned, with landlords and investors asked to work collaboratively with high street businesses unable to pay their bills while the Coronavirus pandemic is ongoing.

Changes will also be made to the use of commercial rent arrears recovery, with landlords banned from using the procedure unless 90 days or more of unpaid rent is owed.

Last month the Government introduced a lease forfeiture moratorium​, which prevents landlords from repossessing commercial premises if businesses are unable to pay their rent.

While some landlords have begun working with tenants to reach an agreement on debt obligations going forwards, others have been putting them under undue pressure by using aggressive debt recovery tactics.

The Government says these temporary emergency measures are designed to acknowledge the pressures landlords are facing, while encouraging cooperation in the spirit of fair commercial practice.

“In this exceptional time for the UK, it is vital that we ensure businesses are kept afloat so that they can continue to provide the jobs our economy needs beyond the coronavirus pandemic,” says the Government’s Business Secretary, Alok Sharma.

“Our unprecedented package of support can help commercial landlords, including through the recent expansion of the Coronavirus business Interruption Loans Scheme.  

“I know that like all businesses they are under pressure, but I would urge them to show forbearance to their tenants. I am also taking steps to ensure the minority of landlords using aggressive tactics to collect their rents can no longer do so while the Covid-19 emergency continues.”

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