Businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will now be protected from eviction until 25 March, 2022, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.
As part of a package of interventions the Welsh Government is making to support businesses, the moratorium against forfeiture for the non-payment of rent will now be further extended. It was originally due to end on 30 September, 2021.
This measure will ensure that landlords of relevant commercial premises are prevented from forfeiting the leases of such premises for non-payment of rent until 25 March 2022, but tenants should continue to pay rent wherever possible, and it is in the interests of both landlords and tenants to reach negotiated agreements on any arrears.
The move will help a range of sectors at what continues to be a challenging trading period.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Welsh Government has ensured that more than £2.5 billion has reached businesses across Wales with more money reaching firms every day. The Welsh Government’s package of business support is in addition to that available from the UK Government.
In addition, unlike in England, Welsh Ministers have ensured the 100% rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will run for the full 12 months of this financial year. This measure is backed by £380 million to help provide breathing space for around 70,000 businesses this year.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have pulled every lever possible to support businesses and their employees during what has been a harrowing time.
“This further extension of measures to prevent forfeiture for the non-payment of rent, which will protect businesses from eviction, will help secure jobs and livelihoods across Wales.
“It will also give the same levels of protection in this respect for Welsh businesses as those in England, and will assist with the recovery of Welsh businesses as the economy improves.
“We remain committed to backing Welsh firms as we kick-start a strong Welsh recovery post-pandemic.”
The UK Government recently announced its intention to introduce legislation to ring-fence commercial rent arrears accrued during the pandemic.
The Welsh Government continues to consider what, if any, further measures in relation to commercial rent arrears accrued during the pandemic in Wales need to be put in place once the moratorium comes to an end. It is expected that this will include working with the UK Government in the further consideration and development of their proposals.