The protection for small firms against being evicted from their business premises by commercial landlords, which the government introduced at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, has been extended.
The government announced that these landlords will not be able to evict smaller firms that are struggling to pay rent for a further three months. It initially introduced this policy during March 2020, when the scale of the virus crisis first became clear, and this latest announcement is the third time that it has been extended. It will now run until 30th June.
This is just one measure among several that have been implemented to help small businesses stay afloat between now and the summer, when the worst of the pandemic is expected to be over. In England, it is hoped that shops will be able to re-open by the middle of next month, with the hospitality sector expected to follow by late June.
The government is keen for landlords of commercial premises and small firms to get together by the end of June to discuss plans for either paying off rent debt or writing it off. Getting advice from a small business accountant in Doncaster or another region could help with this process.
Speaking to Small Business, David Wadsworth from JMW Solicitors said:
“Preventing smaller but viable businesses from being evicted at this point in time is a laudable objective; allowing larger businesses to ‘game’ the system should have been stamped on by the government already.”
Unpaid commercial rent over the past year is estimated to total £4.5 billion.