Coronavirus Commercial Rent Debt

Coronavirus Commercial Rent Debt Arbitration Scheme

The UK Government has introduced a new binding arbitration scheme for landlords and tenants in disputes about commercial rent arrears resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. As an Approved Arbitration Body endorsed by government, CIArb is empowered to appoint highly qualified arbitrators to resolve these disputes as quickly as possible and enable businesses to move on.

Under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act, parties who have been unable to reach an agreement themselves regarding their outstanding commercial rent debts now have access to a bespoke arbitration process to determine a settlement. Under this process, the arbitrator will follow the principles set out in the Act, including the requirement to preserve the viability of the business tenant so far as that is consistent with preserving the solvency of the landlord. Under the legislation, either the landlord or the tenant may refer the dispute to arbitration, providing the dispute meets the criteria set out in the Act.

CIArb Arbitration

As the leading global professional body for dispute resolution, CIArb can offer access to highly qualified expert arbitrators who are suitably equipped to deal with your dispute. The benefits of CIArb arbitration include:

  • Access to CIArb-accredited expert arbitrators
  • CIArb arbitrators are subject to our Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Our fixed-fee model offers certainty and predictability around costs
  • The appointment and arbitrator fees are set at an affordable level on a sliding scale based on the value of the claim
  • The process is designed to be documents-only, meaning parties can avoid the costs of a hearing or legal representation
  • The arbitration award is final and legally-binding, allowing the parties to put the issue behind them

Parties are expected to use this process as a last resort once they have exhausted all avenues for negotiation and compromise. If you would like to seek a mediated settlement, we encourage you to consider applying for a CIArb Mediator who can help you find an effective resolution

Our fees are set on a sliding-scale based on the value of the claim. The fee must be paid up front and in full by the applicant*.

The fixed fees listed here do not include any expert fees which will be charged separately if required.

The arbitration process is intended to be documents only. If a hearing is requested, it should be held online if possible, and will incur an additional cost of £500 per party (exc. VAT). This would not include the arbitrators’ expenses for the hearing, or any other costs associated with the hearing.

*Please note that as part of their award, the arbitrator must require the other party to reimburse the applicant for 50% of the fees (or a different proportion if they consider it is appropriate.

Under the terms of the Act, either the Landlord or Tenant may refer the dispute to arbitration. CIArb’s application forms for referring parties to complete will be made available shortly.


To apply for an arbitrator under this scheme, please complete the form below and return to together with the required payment.


Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 Guidance