The moratorium on evicting commercial tenants over unpaid rent was due to expire on 30th June but has now been extended for another nine months.
In April last year, we saw the government block legal attempts to evict retail, hospitality and other businesses that had stopped paying rent, to take off the economic pressures caused as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we emerge from lockdown, we are seeing an increase in the number of enquiries made by concerned relatives that a loved one may have been subject to financial abuse during the period of isolation or that a Will prepared during lockdown may be invalid due to a person’s lack of capacity. Sadly, these issues usually come to light when a loved one has passed away.
Routinely, local authorities will obtain liability orders for unpaid business rates. However, under the Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989, where a liability order has been obtained for unpaid business rates, you are prohibited from obtaining a charging order for the unpaid liability and you can only obtain a voluntary charge under certain conditions.
As we emerge from the depths of a pandemic, tribunals are observing an increasing number of claims brought pursuant to Section 100(1)(e) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA). Section 100(1)(e) ERA protects employees from being unfairly dismissed where the employee, in circumstances of danger that they reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, took or proposed to take appropriate steps to protect themselves or other persons from danger. Any dismissal which arises as a result of these steps taken by the employee will be automatically unfair.