On 16th June, the UK Government announced a further extension to some of the so called "temporary measures" introduced by the Corporate Governance and Insolvency Act 2020.
The main points to note are:
- restrictions on forfeiture extended to 25 March 2022;
- restrictions on filing a statutory demand and winding up petitions are extended to 30 September 2021; and
- a proposal for a new resolution process to resolve disputes between Landlords and Tenants will be introduced. These relate to rent arrears that have been incurred when their business has been closed due to the pandemic and failing agreement between Landlord and Tenant will ultimately be dealt with through arbitration.
The proposals appear to be encouraging Landlords and Tenants to re-negotiate rent arrears by extending or varying leases. There are still other enforcement options open to Landlords such as proceeding with monetary judgements, arresting Bank Accounts or commencing administration proceedings. It is worth noting that the rules in Scotland are different and Landlords currently require to give 14 weeks' notice before bringing a lease to an end, albeit that is currently due to end on 30 September 2021.
In short, pro-active engagement between Landlords and Tenants is key as the rent arrears have not been waived so will need to be dealt with at some point in the future.
Keeping track of the latest dates is not easy so we have provided a handy Timeline for you to refer to.