Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has appealed for commercial landlords to show leniency to tenants who are experiencing difficulty paying rent on commercial leases due to the current circumstances.
Speaking following a call with Roger Pollen from the Federation of Small Businesses, Conor Murphy said: “My Department inserted a provision into the Coronavirus Act 2020 that protects commercial tenants in situations where non-payment of rent would normally enable a landlord to treat a lease as forfeited.
“I am disappointed to learn that some landlords are seeking to enforce a right of repossession or forfeiture of the lease for non-payment of rent.
“I accept this is a challenging time for everyone, however, I would appeal to landlords to show leniency to businesses. We must work together to help businesses survive through this pandemic.”
Commenting, FSB NI, Head of External Affairs, Roger Pollen said: “At this unprecedented time many businesses are under immense pressure and struggling in tough economic circumstances. For those who are currently unable to trade, they have seen all sources of income dry up, while fixed costs and overheads remain.
“In order to try to find a successful resolution, we would encourage landlords and their commercial tenants to engage in dialogue at the earliest opportunity, with the aim to explore how best they can share the burden of the closure of premises in a way that allows businesses to be sustainable in the future.”