17/01/2022

Business Landlords Urged To Work With Tenants To Resolve Rent Disputes

Business landlords have been urged to work with their tenants to resolve any disputes over outstanding rent payments.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy made the call as the extended emergency protection from eviction for business tenants is due to end on 25th March 2022. The special provision in the Coronavirus Act 2020, which was first applied at the end of March 2020, gave a total of 24 months special protection, in line with England and Wales.

Minister Murphy urged landlords and tenants to look at resolution options as businesses continue their recovery: "Landlords and tenants should keep working together to meet their legal obligations and resolve any rent arrears which may have built up during the pandemic. During the moratorium, we have provided stability and protection for businesses as they continue to recover during this challenging time.
News Image
"The two year moratorium provided time for landlords and tenants to work together to resolve any non-payment of rent. I urge landlords and tenants in dispute to seek third party advice and start the mediation process to ensure plans are in place before 25th March."

There are a number of mediation and dispute resolution options available to businesses and landlords to guide them through this process.

John Fletcher, Director of Dispute Resolution at Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said: "The protection from lease forfeiture will expire on 25th March and businesses here now have a number of weeks in which to prepare. The Commercial Rental Independent Evaluation Service (CRIES) offered by RICS draws on extensive professional experience handling negotiations between landlords and tenants to provide an independent and efficient solution for local businesses. By acting in the public interest, RICS professionals can support tenants and landlords to keep trading, retain important relationships and avoid the cost and delay of court action."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

09 May 2022
Green Party Will 'Rebuild And Grow'
The Green Party NI Leader Clare Bailey has responded to their latest election results, which saw them loss their only seat in the Executive, by stating that they will "rebuild and grow". She said: "I would like to thank the thousands of voters who supported us, and the hundreds of activists who threw everything at this campaign.
26 April 2022
Greens Pledge To Continue To Fight For Animal Rights
The Green Party NI has pledged to continue to work on animal welfare and animal rights in the next Assembly mandate. Making the party election pledge, North Down candidate Rachel Woods said: "It is incredibly disappointing that Northern Ireland is still the only part of the UK without a ban on hunting with dogs.
22 April 2022
Belfast Residents Warned Of Service Disruptions Amid Strike
Belfast City Council has issued a warning to city residents of disruption to some council services as planned strike action is due to get underway from Monday 25 April until Sunday 8 May inclusive (excluding 2 May).
13 May 2022
Donaldson Quits As MLA Less Than A Week After Being Elected
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has resigned as an MLA less than a week after being elected in Lagan Valley. The DUP Leader has decided to remain as an MP despite election pledges to restore the power-sharing Executive. Emma Little-Pengelly has now been given the Lagan Valley seat to which Sir Jeffrey was elected last Friday.
13 May 2022
Farming Direct Payments To Be Made On 01 September
Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots, has announced that Direct Payments will be made on 1 September in full this year only, to help farmers with cash-flow issues caused by market disturbances. Minister Poots made the announcement at the 153rd Balmoral Show at the Eikon Centre in Lisburn.