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Business Premises: Rents

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 141518, tabled on 25 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what data his Department has collected to assess the effectiveness of the voluntary Code of Practice for commercial property relationships introduced in June 2020 as a response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered on

28 January 2021

Government has announced an unprecedented package of support and measures for businesses in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

As well as extensive financial support, we have introduced a range of legislative measures to protect businesses from eviction and insolvency measures.

The voluntary Code of Practice for commercial landlords and tenants sit alongside these measures, and is designed to encourage constructive dialogue between tenants and landlords to help reach agreement on outstanding rent arrears. It is clear that those tenants who can pay in full should do so, those who cannot pay should pay what they can, and those landlords who can grant concessions should do so.

The Code was designed with the support of a steering group including representatives of both landlords and tenants, and was endorsed by this group and many more stakeholder bodies. While the outcomes of commercial negotiations are clearly sensitive, Government continues to meet with these groups on a regular basis to gather feedback on the impact of the Code as well as closely monitoring published data on rent payment rates. As a result, we will publish further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants.