The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that it has extended support to prevent business evictions until the end of 2020.

The new measures mean that businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of year, providing commercial tenants with greater security and protecting vital jobs,

The government says that it is clear that where businesses can pay their rent, they should do so, as this support is aimed to those businesses struggling the most during the pandemic. This move will help those businesses most in need of additional support to remain in their premises without the threat of eviction for the rest of this year, giving them the chance to focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period.

Secretary of State for Housing Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said “I am announcing today that we are extending support to protect those businesses that are unable to pay their rent from eviction to the end of the year. This will stop businesses going under and protect jobs over the coming months.”

“This government is committed to supporting businesses and our high streets at this difficult time, and this extension of support will help businesses recover from the impacts of the pandemic and plan for the future.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said “During this particularly challenging time for businesses, it is crucial that both landlords and tenants have the clarity and reassurance they need to build back better from the pandemic.”

“Extending the temporary measures we put in place earlier this year to protect businesses from the threat of eviction will give them some much-needed breathing space at a critical moment in the UK’s economic recovery.”

“This extension will protect businesses that are struggling to pay their rent due to the impact of COVID-19 from being evicted and help the thousands of people working in these sectors feel more secure about their jobs.”

The government will also extend the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of the year.

The guidance is clear both landlords and tenants should continue to work together to agree rent payment options if businesses are struggling. In June, the government published a Code of Practice to support these discussions.

The Code of Practice was produced alongside leading businesses and trade associations to help guide and encourage all parties to work together to protect viable businesses and ensure a swift recovery.

Responding to the MHCLG announcement Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said “The news of this extension will be a welcome one for many who have had to make difficult decisions during this period of huge uncertainty. For many small firms, economic activity is still far lower compared to before the crisis, and support through interventions like this one are crucial to safeguarding thousands of firms and millions of jobs.”

“This measure will allow some breathing room at a time when local lockdowns, increasing coronavirus cases and difficulty when it comes to accessing testing among other factors are weighing heavy on the minds of small businesses.

“With the furlough scheme ending in a matter of weeks, more must be done to ensure that small firms inckuding renters, who are the backbone of the economy, have the necessary support they need to survive.”

Damian Webb, Partner at RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP, said “The extension of the moratorium will be welcomed by a range of high street retailers and restaurants but will increase the pressure on Landlords.”

“The extension will mean that in numerous cases by December 2020 many landlords will not have received any rent for nearly twelve months. Noting the range of individuals who invest in the commercial property sector this absence of income will regrettably be causing pronounced issues for those affected landlords.”

“Eventually the deadlock must end and a more sustainable approach for both tenants and Landlords needs to be found.”

“Robert Jenrick MP, the secretary of state for housing said extending the ban until the end of the year would give struggling high street retailers and restaurant chains a chance to ‘focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period.”