So, following the latest government announcement that the moratorium on commercial property evictions is to be extended until at least the end of June, I find myself writing a similar post to those that I wrote in September and again in December. The fact that this moratorium needs to be extended over and over again is evidence (as if more is even needed) as to how the government underestimated the length and effect that the pandemic would have on businesses which, after all, will all operate from one form of commercial property or another.
As the BPF has rightly highlighted, whilst there are undoubtedly many businesses for whom this extension is a lifeline (retail and restaurant in particular), there are a minority that are unfairly taking advantage of their landlords, who have lost a major weapon in their arsenal against tenants flagrantly breaching their lease covenants. As I have repeatedly said, the key is for landlords and tenants to work together to get through this crisis and perhaps even emerge from it stronger than before.
The British Property Federation recently estimated total unpaid rent for UK commercial property between late March 2020 and the end of June 2021 will be up to £7bn if the moratorium is extended