To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking against landlords proposing rent increases that do not adhere to the principles set out in the Government’s Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the covid-19 pandemic, published on 19 July 2020.
In the Code of Practice, Government set out clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments and encouraged best practice so that every part of the chain is supported. We recognise that, as the Code is voluntary, it is not being used in every situation and have also introduced a range of measures to support tenants struggling to pay rent.
Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 provides for a moratorium on forfeitures of commercial leases due to the non-payment of rent accrued during the pandemic. This means that landlords of commercial properties will not have the option to evict tenants for not paying the rent that was due after 23 March 2020. Government has announced that it will extend the moratorium on forfeiture until the end of the year. The extension provides landlords and tenants with a further opportunity to come together to have these discussions and reach agreements on outstanding rent.
Government has also restricted landlords’ ability to seize goods in lieu of rent and protected tenants from insolvency measures including statutory demands and winding up petitions.