Coronavirus: Insurance, Commercial Rent and Planning Regulations

Support With Commercial Rent

MHCLG announced that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. This is included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, and will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next three months.

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Relaxation On Rules For Businesses

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has produced a list of 15 rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by Covid-19. These include:

  • Destroying spoilt beer: Temporary measure to help brewers and publicans
  • Eviction protection for commercial tenants: A ban on eviction for businesses who cannot pay their rent.
  • Pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways: Pubs and restaurants will not need planning permission.
  • Hotel accommodation for key workers: Letter to hotel chief executives allowing them to offer accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people.

Click here to see the full list of relaxed rules and more details on the changes to each rule. 

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has written a letter to local authorities outlining that in step 2 of the Government’s roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoor and the measures to support the safe re-opening of hospitality businesses. The letter states:

Al fresco dining

  • Continuation of the simplified route for pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain a temporary pavement licence to place furniture including outdoor tables and seating on the highway, including a capped application fee of £100 and a 10-working day consultation and determination period.
  • Licences to be granted for 12 months or more unless there are good reasons not to, and an expectation that licences granted under these provisions to continue to apply into this summer so that businesses do not have to reapply or be charged a further application fee when they are able to re-open to serve customers outdoors.
  • Currently due to expire on 30 September 2021, but subject to Parliamentary approval, this will be extended for a further 12 months,

Freedom to use land for community events and outdoor hospitality

  • Continuation of greater flexibility for businesses to hold outdoor events such as summer fairs or motorsports on land without the need for a planning application
  • Car-boot sales, or people or businesses such as pubs wishing to set up marquees will also be exempt.
  • Such temporary events to be allowed for 56 days until 31 December 2021.

Outdoor markets

  • A new temporary right, extended to March 2022, that allows local authorities, either by themselves or by others on their behalf, to use land to hold a market without having to apply for planning permission.

Takeaways

  • Measures to support restaurants, drinking establishments such as pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food when they were otherwise closed due to coronavirus restrictions extended until March 2022.