Community Leisure UK ezine
May 2022
Rent arrears – ukactive calls for 'shared burden'

09 Dec 2021

ukactive has stressed the importance of landlords and tenants "sharing the burden" of commercial rent arrangements.

The industry body made the call during a committee meeting of MPs, which is discussing the government’s Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill.

The bill is set to lay out the terms of binding arbitration for landlords and tenants unable to reach an agreement for repayment terms.

Earlier this year, the government also announced an extension to the moratorium on eviction due to unpaid rents until 25 March 2022.

Speaking to the committee, Jack Shakespeare, director of research, policy and communications at ukactive, said: "I think a guiding principle of this process which needs to sit at the heart of it is the message of sharing the burden.

"This is clearly a collective problem that needs a collective solution."

Shakespeare also ​​called for County Court Judgements (CCJ) issued before 10 November to be annulled, and for those cases to be subject to the arbitration process.

This comes as some landlords have been accused of "exploiting a loophole" and using CCJs to recover rent arrears from commercial tenants.

While landlords are prevented from evicting tenants or using statutory demands or winding-up petitions to recover rent payments, there has been no such ban during the pandemic on CCJs.

"A ring-fence should be exactly that and it shouldn't have holes in it," Shakespeare said. "And it feels like CCJs are holes in the ring-fence.

"We would support the notion that CCJS processed prior to 10 November should be looked at and should be included in the protection."

To watch the entire committee meeting, click here.


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17 May 2022
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