New law to resolve Covid rent debt



The Government has set up an arbitration system to help resolve outstanding commercial rent debts as the general moratorium on commercial eviction ends.


From 25 March, a legally binding arbitration process is available for eligible landlords and tenants who have not yet reached an agreement.


The Government hopes this will resolve disputes about pandemic-related rent debt and help the market return to normal.


The law applies to commercial rent debts of businesses that were mandated to close under Covid lockdowns and restrictions in part or in full from March 2020 until the date restrictions ended for their sector.


During the pandemic, commercial tenants received a moratorium on evictions, which ended on 24 March 2022 in England and Wales.


However, eligible businesses remain protected for the next six months, during which time arbitration can be applied for.


Business minister Paul Scully said:


“This new law will give commercial tenants and landlords the ability to draw a line under the uncertainty caused by the pandemic so they can plan ahead and return to normality.


“Landlords and tenants should keep working together to reach their own agreements where possible using our code of practice to help them, and we’ve made arbitration available as a last resort.”


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