The moratorium has been extended by a further three months from 30 June 2020 to 30 September 2020. During the extended period the significant restrictions introduced by the Act on the enforcement remedies available to a landlord against a business tenant in relation to rent arrears will remain in place. In addition the government intends to prevent landlords from using the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) process unless they are owed 189 days of unpaid rent. The ban on using statutory demands and winding up petitions where a company cannot pay its bills due to the coronavirus is also to be extended until 30 September 2020.
In addition to the above measures the government has produced a code of practice for the commercial property sector - the Code of Practice for Commercial Property Relationships during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The code is a voluntary scheme and does not change the underlying legal relationship or lease contract between a landlord and tenant and any guarantor. The purpose of the code is to set out guidelines for best practice which along with the other measures introduced by the government such as the moratorium on forfeiture of business leases is intended to provide business tenants with the breathing space to work with landlords and other stakeholders to plan for a sustainable future. The code can be found at the Ministry of Housing & Communities and Local Governments website and remains in force until 24 June 2021. The code applies to whole of the UK and all commercial property sectors including retail, food and drink and offices.