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04 May 2020

Further temporary legislation in force in relation to CRAR

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Following the Government's announcement that they would introduce further legislation to restrict commercial landlords exercising Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR), the statutory instrument The Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 ("the 2020 Regulations") took effect on 25 April 2020.

The Government have increased the amount of rent, which must be outstanding before CRAR can be used to give tenants some breathing space.

The 2020 Regulations amend the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 and the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014. The amendments will be in place for the duration of the emergency period as set out in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, which prevent people from leaving their usual residence without a reasonable excuse (“the lockdown restrictions”).

The effect of the 2020 Regulations is as follows:

  • To comply with social distancing, enforcement agents are prevented from taking control of goods on the highway or at residential properties during the lockdown restrictions
  • CRAR minimum amount – 90 days net rent
    Where the notice of enforcement is given after 25 April 2020 and during “the relevant period” as defined in the Coronavirus Act 2020 (currently until 30 June 2020), Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery can only be used where the minimum amount of net unpaid rent outstanding is an amount equivalent to 90 days’ rent.
  • Time limit for taking control of goods extended
    Where, on 26 March 2020, there was less than one month remaining before the expiry of the time limit for the taking control of goods, this time limit will be extended by a period of 12 months. The time limit will be extended where this circumstance arose or will arise at any time when lockdown restrictions are in place.
  • Duration of certificates extended
    Where, on 26 March 2020, there were less than three months remaining before the expiry of a certificate granted under the 2014 Regulations, the certificate will remain valid for a period of six months beyond its original expiry date. The time limit will be extended where this circumstance arose or will arise at any time when lockdown restrictions are in place.

The 2020 Regulations do not affect any enforcement action which was taken prior to the 2020 Regulations coming into force.