Baroness Alicia Kennedy accused the government of hypocrisy over its divergent approach to evictions of commercial and residential tenants.
First Secretary of the Treasury Steve Barclay announced on Wednesday that commercial landlords will not be able to evict their tenants until March 2022. There will also be emergency legislation this year to make it mandatory for commercial tenants and landlords in litigation regarding Covid. arrears to conclude a binding mediation program.
But Baroness Kennedy, director of the Generation Rent campaign group, said: “The difference in government treatment of businesses and private tenants who have been affected by the pandemic could not be more marked.
“If your business is more than four months behind on rent, that debt is locked in, your landlord is encouraged to ‘share the financial impact’ and you are protected from eviction until March of next year. .
“If, however, you rent your house and are four months late, your landlord can apply for a possession order since September of last year, and as of that month, you only receive notice of four weeks before being brought to justice.
“At the G7, Boris Johnson warned against growing inequalities during the recovery, but every moment the government has made decisions that hurt tenants, freezing local housing allowances as rents continue to drop. ‘increase, to the inflation of housing prices with the leave of the stamp duty.
“Now a company’s pandemic debts are treated as exceptional, but the same protection is not extended to people’s homes. To help tenants recover from the pandemic, the government must clear their arrears with a Covid rent debt fund. “
Meanwhile, tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg says business owners have been asked to shoulder a burden that no other business or industry has, in terms of lost revenue for up to two years.
Heather Powell, partner at the firm and head of real estate, says: “It is appalling that the government continues to treat opportunistic profit-making companies to ignore their owners and refuse to pay the rent owed. “
She adds: “The government’s announcement means that occupants of commercial premises – offices, factories, restaurants, cafes and leisure places cannot be evicted for not paying their rent by March 25, 2022.
“The government is asking tenants to pay the rent due as soon as restrictions are lifted in their area, if they don’t already pay, but this pious hope has no bite.”
“The government must remember that owners provide the infrastructure from which UK PLC negotiates and with which investments are needed to help UK PLC achieve Carbon Zero by 2050.”