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Angry activists ask: Why do businesses have an eviction ban, but not us?

Campaign group Generation Rent has issued an angry statement in response to the government’s decision to extend the eviction ban for businesses.

This week the First Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, announced that commercial landlords will be unable to evict their tenants until March 2022. The government also plans to introduce emergency legislation to make it obligatory for business tenants and landlords in dispute over Covid-related arrears to enter into a binding mediation scheme.

Responding to the initiative, Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the director of Generation Rent, says: “The difference in the government’s treatment of businesses and private renters who have been hit by the pandemic could not be starker. 


“If your business has fallen behind on rent by more than four months, that debt is ring-fenced, your landlord is encouraged to ‘share the financial impact’ and you are protected from eviction until March next year. 

“If, however, you rent your home and are behind by four months, your landlord has been able to seek a possession order since September last year, and as of this month you get just four weeks’ notice before you’re taken to court.

“At the G7, Boris Johnson warned against entrenching inequalities during the recovery, yet at every turn the government has taken decisions that hurt renters, from freezing Local Housing Allowance while rents continue rising, to inflating house prices with the stamp duty holiday. 

“Now a business’s pandemic debts are treated as exceptional, yet the same protection is not extended to people’s homes. To help renters bounce back from the pandemic the government must clear their arrears with a Covid Rent Debt Fund.”

Meanwhile tax and advisory consultancy Blick Rothenberg says commercial landlords have been asked to shoulder a burden which no other trade or industry has, in terms of losing income for up to two years. 

Heather Powell, a partner at the firm and head of property says: “It is appalling that the government continues to treat the opportunist businesses who are generating profits to ignore their landlords and refuse to pay the rent due”


She adds: “The government’s announcement means that occupiers of commercial premises – offices, factories, restaurants, cafes and leisure venues cannot be evicted for not paying their rent until after March 25 2022.

“The government is asking tenants to pay rent due as soon as restrictions are removed in their sector, if they are not already paying but this pious hope has no teeth.”

“The government needs to remember that landlords provide the infrastructure from which UK PLC trades, and from whom investment is required to help UK PLC achieve Carbon Zero by 2050. 

“A more nuanced approach, that protects the interests of the landlords and tenants – an approach that genuinely ‘strikes the right balance’ between protecting landlords and supporting businesses most in need - is required if all businesses are going to come out of the pandemic ready to meet the challenges of the next 10 years”.

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  • Franklin I

    Whilst this is a delicate topic, there is a slight difference in impact between a residential LL's eviction and a Commercial LL's.
    If the government were to allow Commercial LL's to evict their tenants, then this will inevitably see a rise in unemployment across the UK.

    If this were to happen, then many people will be jobless. At the same time if residential LL's were to be allowed to evict, then we will have a homeless issue.
    The government will need to create a package that compensates these Commercial LL's, because come March 2022, there will be a rise in unemployment if the issue is not resolved.

    • AQ
    • 18 June 2021 10:56 AM

    The main difference is that a lot of businesses were prevented from earning money while most staff were furloughed and just CBA paying because the government said they didn't have to.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Gov are just doing what they've always done, - ' kicking the can down the road. ' at others expense.

    I just don't understand why there hasn't been support for a legal challenge ?

  • icon

    Maybe, just maybe, the lobbying has worked and govt are listening to landlords?

  • icon

    The eviction ban only applies to commercial rents because businesses are genuinely unable to pay the rent as they are closed. As opposed to tenants who wreck the place in spite and stop paying just because they know they can.

  • icon

    Unfortunately, in both residential & commercial sectors there are some who choose not to pay and the inability to evict them just plays onto their hands at the LLs expense.


    Those are the ones that need a little push

  • George Dawes

    It's pathetic when the public sector pontificates to the private sector

    So out of touch


    part of the owg/nwo--parasitic public sector is to be the masters

  • icon

    Not at all related and I am sorry to Hijack the article, but has anyone seen the shelter advert I mean come on. That's the first time I have seen it and I think we are all in trouble.

  • George Dawes

    HSBC backing shelter ?

    Pretty obvious the big boys want the prs decimated

    Next decade should be interesting.. watch them keep moving the epc goalposts

  • icon

    Nationwide giving donations to Shelter while LL’s are a major customer of their subsidiary TMW’s.


    I have a Nationwide account, but there is less than a £1 in it, and I've never borrowed off them, B&Q and Screwfix both donate to shelter, but I have a monthly trade account with them so I use them, Home base are useless and the likes of Jewsons and similar builders are far too expensive unless you are spending thousands per month with them, I also have a monthly trade account with Wolseley Centers, but once again I can buy the same things from B&Q and Screwfix for less, so I take my business to where I get the best deal and service.


    Andrew join LNPG and Jewson become very reasonable, and Wolseley with LNPG beats trade prices on most products

    Theodor Cable

    I will never use them then. Never.

  • icon

    Yes I agree we all have to count, especially these days when material costs are gone through the roof strangely not much being said about it. When you have to do a refurb just like I have done on a one bed Flat it’s horrendous. £3k material & rubbish removal alone & taking kitchen units etc out in bags because of water damage & misuse, not done yet I will need to get EICR or cannot re-let, loss of 2 months rent & counting, do I have to pay c/tax on empty property OH no !. O’yes all my work to use the materials is completely free, it must be why we are classed as Criminals because we are such mugs. I am not finished yet I have to replace the bed, wardrobe, washing machine, fridge, freezer, table + chairs, microwave, settee etc, (previously broken or nicked by previous Tenant). LL’s don’t complain or Council will fine you as well.


    I'm now doing a refurb on a terraced house, about another month's work to do as yet, then at the end of August I have another one coming empty which will also need a refurb , labour all done for free -- by me, no furnishings though, I find it best to let unfurnished, and yes full council tax to pay while empty, so we don't all sit at home watching the money flow into our bank accounts as some would like to believe .

  • Theodor Cable

    It is just plain wrong to have to pay full council tax when the house does not have any tenants or owners living in the house.

    Despicable and thieving from local authorities.


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