Clause 23 - Temporary moratorium on enforcement of protected rent debts

Part of Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 14 Rhagfyr 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London) 10:00, 14 Rhagfyr 2021

I thank the hon. Member for her comments. Indeed, I agree with her. She said that she wants the Bill to be passed as soon as possible, so I am speaking as quickly as I can to make sure that we can get that done.

On the communications, we have already given plenty of notice. The original announcement was in June. The policy statement and the code of practice were published. We have hosted webinars with key stakeholders, and we will continue to engage with them. The hon. Member is absolutely right. We want to make sure that this measure is known by all so that they can take advantage of it. If they are unable to settle their rent debts between themselves, we can bring this to a head quickly through arbitration and get back to a normal free market as soon as possible.

On the amendment, I can reassure the hon. Member that we will take full note of written evidence that comes in, but paragraph 2 of schedule 2 already prevents claims against guarantors. It prevents the landlord from making any debt claim in respect of protected rent within the moratorium period specified by the Bill. The provision in question is not limited to claims against tenants, so it does not need to state expressly that it covers claims against guarantors.