To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the moratorium on evictions due to the covid-19 outbreak beyond 31 December 2020.
18 December 2020
This Government is?fully?committed to supporting the businesses and communities that make our high streets and town centres successful as the nation responds to the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.? Now more than ever, it is vital that we continue to help our local economies by supporting town centres and high streets, adapt and evolve.
The Government has recently announced that the measures previously put in place to protect commercial tenants from eviction if they are unable to pay their rent during the pandemic are being extended to 31 March 2021. The measure is enacted via Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which provides for a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases due to the non-payment of rent.
Many commercial landlords have shown flexibility, understanding and commitment to protect businesses during an exceptionally challenging time. The Government is clear that where businesses can pay any or all of their rent, they should do so.
The merit of this final extension is that it will give landlords and tenants a further three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor levels of rent payment and the health of both tenants and landlords. The move will also support businesses worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, helping them to rebuild over the winter period. This is in addition to putting in place one of the world’s most comprehensive economic responses to protect jobs, incomes, and business throughout and beyond this pandemic.