Commercial Rent Arrears – Summary

Published on June 24, 2022 by Gareth Hunt - Insolvency Practitioner

As part of the ongoing support for business affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill 2021-22 was passed by Parliament on 25 March 2022.

The Bill ring-fences commercial rent debts built up as a result of mandated business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It introduces a binding arbitration process to resolve claims for rent arrears that have accrued during periods of enforced closure if parties have not already reached agreement.  The arbitrator will make an award relating to the protected rent debt which may write off all or part of the debt; allow time to pay all or part of the debt; and may reduce the interest on the debt that otherwise would have been payable.

This new process replaces the old restrictions with a new moratorium that prevents landlords from exercising their usual remedies while the application period for arbitration is open or while a statutory arbitration is in progress, but strictly only in respect of certain ring-fenced rent arrears.

The government’s intention is that rent debt accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should not force otherwise viable businesses (landlord or tenant) to cease operating.

The Bill works by protecting rent arrears (including service charges, insurance rent, interest and VAT) that accrued during the ring-fenced period from 21 March 2020, when the first requirements on businesses to close their premises or cease trading (in whole or part) came into force, to the date when specific restrictions were last removed for the relevant industry sector.  The protection only applies to the specific periods of time when the business was mandated to close.

Where the parties have not reached an agreement in relation to a protected rent debt, they will have a six-month window from the date on which the Bill is passed in which to refer the matter to the new arbitration scheme.

You can see more details relating to the Commercial Rent Arrears (Coronavirus) Bill 2021/2022 by clicking here.


If, as a landlord or tenant, you have any queries regarding the process relating to the new legislation, please contact Insolvency Practitioner Gareth Hunt at or call 0161 608 0000

Gareth, who joined RPG in March 2021, is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Gareth has gained significant experience dealing with corporate and personal insolvency together with advisory work including liquidations, CVA’s and administrations from a wide range of industry. He also assists individuals on bankruptcy and IVA’s. Email:

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