PropertySep 15 2020

Govt eyes extending eviction ban for commercial tenants

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Govt eyes extending eviction ban for commercial tenants
Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
ByImogen Tew

The government is preparing to extend the eviction ban currently in place to prevent commercial tenants, such as offices and retailers, from being evicted from their premises.

According to FTAdviser’s sister paper, the Financial Times, government officials are examining how they can prolong the existing ban — currently in place until September 30 — to the end of the year.

The FT reports that the move comes as the government faces increasing pressure to provide more support for companies struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was initially introduced in April but was extended in the summer to September 30.

Any extension to the eviction ban is expected to anger landlords, who have suffered from reduced yield on their investments as businesses struggle to pay rent.

According to the FT, landlords have also raised concerns that the ban risks hurting investors in the property industry and those in property funds, while claiming the ban has been misused by some tenants that can afford to pay rent.

The ban follows a similar move from the government in the residential sector. At the end of August, the government extended its ban on evictions until the end of September, having initially been due to end on August 23.

The news comes as the coronavirus crisis continues to hurt businesses and employment, with data from the Office of National Statistics showing the number of payrolled employees in the UK in July 2020 fell by 1.9 per cent compared with 2019.

Further figures from the ONS, published today (September 15), show 695,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment in July 2020 when compared with March 2020.

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