The Government has published its draft legislation with the aim of tackling accrued rent arrears for businesses who were forced to close during the pandemic. The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill provides for the ringfencing of rent debt built up by businesses who have been forced to close during the pandemic and establishes a binding arbitration process which can determine what happens to that ringfenced debt.
Concurrently, the Government has published a revised Code of Practice to be used by landlords and tenants in order to resolve disputes in relation to unpaid rent arrears. The revised Code replaces the previous version, first introduced in June 2020.
As with any draft legislation, the new Bill is subject to passage through Parliament and the details of the Bill may be subject to alteration or change. The Government’s aim is to have the Bill passed by 25 March 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval.
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