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New law to resolve COVID-19 rent debt

5th April 2022

A new rent arbitration service is now available for businesses to resolve their outstanding debts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statutory process applies in England and Wales as of 25 March 2022, and aims to resolve disputes between commercial landlords and tenants who have not been able to reach an agreement between them.

This system will apply to businesses such as pubs, gyms and restaurants which were unable to trade due to lockdown laws from March 2020.

Although the general moratorium on commercial evictions ended for England and Wales on 24 March, businesses may still be protected for the next six months where arbitration can be applied for. The maximum amount of time to repay is 24 months.

Paul Scully, Minister for Business, said:

"This new law will give commercial tenants and landlords the ability to draw a line under the uncertainty caused by the pandemic so they can plan ahead and return to normality.

"Landlords and tenants should keep working together to reach their own agreements where possible using our Code of Practice to help them, and we've made arbitration available as a last resort.

"Tenants who can repay their rent debts in full, should do so, and when they cannot, landlords should try to share the burden, so we can all move on."

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