The Commercial Rents Bill yesterday (23 March) passed its final stages in Parliament and is due to become law today.

The Commercial Rents Act (as it now is) sets up the process of binding compulsory arbitration for unresolved rent arrears arising during the pandemic.

Any 'protected rents' - commercial retail rent arrears due between March 2020 and April 2021 and not subject to a repayment arrangement - remain out of reach for landlord debt enforcement action for six months from today.

That means that, even though the rent debt moratorium ends in England on 25 March, no protected rent can be enforced against until 24 September, or until the conclusion of an arbitration process. 

The Government is expected to shortly publish details of the approved arbitration bodies who will carry out this work - each body themselves will publish their costs - as well as issue updated guidance for arbitrators.