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Eviction ban for private and business tenants extended
10 March 2021

Restrictions on landlords evicting private and business tenants in England have been extended in a bid to buy struggling retailers, pubs and restaurants enough time to start trading again, the Government has said.

Landlords wanting to evict residential tenants will have to give them six months’ notice periods and will be banned from using bailiffs until the end of May, under the rules. The protections will then taper off from the start of June.

Meanwhile, landlords will be banned from evicting commercial tenants, including struggling retailers, pubs and restaurants, until the end of June.

It will give hospitality companies, in particular, some breathing room after their doors reopen no sooner than 17 May, the Government said.

“It is right that as we move through the road map, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported,” said Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure businesses get the support they need to get through this pandemic and reopen when it is safe to do so.

“I know business owners will welcome this latest package of support and the breathing space it will give them to prepare for a safe reopening, and, ultimately, to build back better.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that retailers have lost more than £22 billion in sales and the rules provided “vital protection” against landlords pushing businesses into administration.

“After months of lockdown, this announcement provides much-needed breathing space to retailers, many of which are sitting on rising rent liabilities,” she said.

However Melanie Leech CEO of the British Property Federation said the move would lead to further exploitation by businesses who could afford to pay their rent but choose not to.

“With further rates relief and new grants, and a clear plan for re-opening, high streets businesses should be confident in approaching their property owners to forge an economic partnership in which they can agree how to manage rental debt fairly. Rational property owners want their tenants to thrive – empty properties generate no income and are a blight on our high streets.

“As they prepare to re-open, in premises which property owners and their agents have kept safe and well-maintained, the scandal of those well-capitalised businesses who can pay rent, but have chosen not to, cannot be allowed to continue. Their behaviour has raided our nation’s pensions and savings invested in commercial property, and has been a heavy blow for already stretched local authority landlords and public finances.”

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