COVID-19: UK Introduces Non-payment Protections for Commercial Tenants

The UK government has announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent due to the coronavirus pandemic will be protected from eviction.

March 25, 2020

An amendment to the emergency Coronavirus Bill means that no business will be forced out of its premises if it misses a rent payment in the next three months. 

The government will continue to monitor the situation, as commercial tenants currently will be liable for rent after this three-month period. The government is also actively monitoring the impact of the measure on commercial landlords and will continue to be in dialogue with them. 

In the meantime, a number of landlords and tenants continue to have voluntary discussions about rent holidays and rent reductions to work their way through the crisis. 

The government hopes that, alongside £330 billion of business loans and guarantees, removing the threat of eviction will help make a real difference to businesses across the country that are trying to stay afloat. 

The measures are expected to become law before the end of 25 March 2020 — a rent quarter day for many — and will last until 30 June 2020, with an option for the government to extend this deadline. 

McGuireWoods has published additional thought leadership related to how companies across various industries can address crucial COVID-19-related business and legal issues.