Following pressure by the retail and hospitality sectors, and in the face of resistance from commercial landlords, the ban on forfeiture of commercial leases for non-payment of rent has now been extended to 31 December, mirroring the Welsh legislation introduced last week. The Restrictions on using CRAR have also been extended for the same period.

While the restrictions on winding-up petitions are currently set to be lifted on 30 September, it remains to be seen whether this too will be extended - which seems likely, to avoid undermining the protections given to tenants on forfeiture.

While rent remains payable under commercial leases, and the government has signalled that “where tenants can pay their rent, they should do so”, the lack of enforcement options will undoubtedly have a substantial impact on discussions between landlords and tenants, particularly where tenants were in the process of agreeing restructures and rent concessions with their landlords to take effect before the September quarter date. We are already seeing this impact on a number of our restructuring mandates.