The UK Government has announced today, 9 November 2021, that new laws and Code of Practice are being introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic.

Commercial tenants whose business has been affected by COVID-19 will be protected from debt claims — including County Court Judgements (CCJs), High Court Judgements (HCJs) and bankruptcy petitions which have been issued against them in relation to rent arrears specifically caused by the pandemic.

The decision means that businesses forced to close due to the pandemic and continued to accumulate further debt are protected.

While the new rules currently apply to England and Wales, Northern Ireland will have a power in the Bill to introduce similar legislation.

The measures are the latest in protections for commercial tenants that have been put in place as a result of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which also sees commercial tenants to be protected from eviction until 25 March 2022, in an effort to provide time for landlords and tenants to negotiate sharing rent debts.