Since March 2022 landlords were prevented from exercising rights to end a commercial lease and pursue a tenant for rent arrears. This ban has ended with effect from 25th March 2022.

This means that from today landlords can act against tenants in arrears or seek to repossess their property.

However, the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act which came into force on 24th March 2022 affects these actions relating to both areas and forfeiture if the rent arrears come under the criteria for protected rent arrears, due to requirements on the tenant to fully or partially close under Coronavirus regulations.

To be protected, the arrears must relate to the “relevant period” which is beginning at or after 2pm on 21st March 2020 and ending at or before 11:55pm on 18th July 2021 (in England) or 6am on 7th August 2021 (in Wales).

Where the arrears relates to the ‘relevant period’, the only option available to the landlord and tenant is to undertake arbitration adopting a Government-approved arbitration body.