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Shops get rent break during crisis

27th April 2020

Temporary measures to protect high street businesses against aggressive debt recovery actions during the COVID-19 crisis have been announced.

The Government will temporarily ban creditors from using statutory demands between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

Any winding-up petitions issued to commercial tenants between 27 April 2020 and 30 June 2020 will also be voided.

Retailers and other companies that are struggling to pay their bills due to coronavirus are instead being asked to pay what they can.

In addition, commercial landlords will be unable to use commercial rent arrears recovery unless they are owed 90 days or more of unpaid rent.

Alok Sharma, business secretary, said:

"It is vital we ensure businesses are kept afloat so they can continue to provide the jobs our economy needs beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

"I know that like all businesses commercial landlords are under pressure, but I would urge them to show forbearance to their tenants.

"I am also taking steps to ensure the minority of landlords using aggressive tactics to collect their rents can no longer do so while the COVID-19 emergency continues."

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, added:

"Rents are a huge burden for retailers that must be paid even where shops are closed and this announcement protects firms who - during these extraordinary times - are unable to meet their rent obligations.

"This will give retailers some vital relief and help safeguard millions of jobs all across the country."

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