Forfeiture moratorium extended

And on it goes…forfeiture moratorium extended until end of March 2021

Way back in March of this year,  I considered the forfeiture moratorium that was first introduced in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which prevented action being taken by commercial Landlords to forfeit commercial leases on the basis of rent arrears.

As I reported in previous articles and ‘Breaking News’ bulletins published on our website and social media feeds, the moratorium, which was initially due to expire on 30 June 2020, was extended until the end of September 2020, and then further extended until 31 December 2020. 

Last week, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, announced that he was extending the moratorium by a further 3 months (apparently this will be the last extension, but time will tell) meaning that commercial landlords will be unable to forfeit a lease for non-payment of rent, whether by  peaceable re-entry or court proceedings, until 1 April 2021.  So much for it being a “temporary” moratorium, as it was initially described!

The announcement will be a welcome early Christmas gift for some commercial tenants who continue to struggle with the impact of Covid-19. For some Landlords, however, it will be another twist of the knife, especially for those with tenants who have paid little, or even any, rent since the moratorium was first introduced.

In addition to extending the moratorium on forfeiture, it has also been confirmed that the Taking Control of Goods (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 are to be amended once again also. From Christmas Day 2020, Landlords will be unable to use CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery) to collect rent unless there are 366 days rent outstanding.

If you have any queries arising from the above, or would like to suggest a topic for a future article, please contact Chris Drinkall on 01482 337367 or christopher.drinkall@rollits.com

Chris can also be followed on Twitter at @drinkall_chris and on LinkedIn.

Posted on: 17/12/2020

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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