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Lords examines Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill at third reading

16 March 2022

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The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill  had its third reading, a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes, on Tuesday 22 February. 

The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill seeks to establish an arbitration system to resolve outstanding commercial rent debt accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final checks

Third reading is a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes.

One amendment (change) to the bill was put forward ahead of third reading, regarding arbitration body protection from incurring liability when removing arbitrators.

Members also discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages.  

Catch up

Explore further information

Read background on the bill in the Lords Library briefing.

Next steps

Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.

What's happened so far

Report stage: Wednesday 9 March

Report stage is an extra chance for members to closely scrutinise elements of the bill and make changes. 

Proposed changes

Members put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to consider at report stage.

The amendments covered a range of subjects, including English and Welsh business tenancies and power for Welsh Ministers to apply moratorium provisions again.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Committee stage: Thursday 10 February 

Line by line examination 

Committee stage is the first chance to check the bill in detail and make changes. 

Proposed changes

Members speaking at committee stage put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to the bill to be discussed.

The amendments covered a range of subjects, including:

  • the resourcing and capacity of approved arbitration bodies

  • ensuring arbitration decisions are easily accessible

  • regulations relating to specifying limits on arbitration fees

  • reviewing the impact of the bill after four months of being passed.

The committee stage of this bill took place in Grand Committee, away from the chamber. In Grand Committee, any member can take part and decisions on amendments (changes) can be made, but no votes can take place.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Second reading: Thursday 27 January

Members discussed the main issues in the bill during the second reading debate including:

  • introducing a new binding arbitration process for tenants and landlords to use when they cannot agree on how to settle outstanding rent arrears accumulated during the coronavirus pandemic

  • expanding existing restrictions on enforcing business rent arrears so they cannot be used to undermine the arbitration process set out in the bill.

Members speaking 

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel (Conservative), Minister for Investment, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government. 

Members speaking in the debate include: 

Following a motion agreed by members on Thursday 20 January, the debate took place in Grand Committee, away from the main chamber.

Find out about all the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the transcript in  Lords Hansard.

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