CIArb News

CIArb confirmed as approved arbitration body for commercial rent disputes

29 Mar 2022

CIArb is delighted to have been confirmed as an approved arbitration body under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act (the Act), which received Royal Assent on Thursday 24 March 2022.

The Act is a positive step in allowing parties to resolve outstanding commercial rent disputes quickly and affordably, and a vote of confidence in arbitration as a means of providing access to redress.

The Act introduces a new statutory arbitration process for disputes relating to commercial rent arrears accrued when businesses were forced to close due to government-mandated Covid-19 lockdowns.

The process introduced by the Act is detailed in the legislation itself and supplemented by draft Statutory Guidance for arbitrators dealing with cases under the scheme. Parties to these disputes are expected to act in accordance with the government’s Code of Practice for commercial property relationships affected by the pandemic and for those disputes where an agreement cannot be reached, the Act introduces a new binding arbitration process to be used as a last resort.

As an approved arbitration body, CIArb will soon be accepting applications from parties covered by the Act and will appoint suitable arbitrators from our existing panels. We will offer a simple, transparent and affordable fee structure, and parties using our service will benefit from the extensive expertise which CIArb arbitrators can provide. If you would like to enquire about the service please email das@ciarb.org.

Catherine Dixon, CIArb Director-General said:

“CIArb is delighted to have been confirmed as an approved arbitration body under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act (the Act). CIArb members embody the highest standards in dispute resolution, and our approval by BEIS to appoint arbitrators to resolve outstanding commercial rent disputes is an illustration of the confidence the public has in CIArb as a centre of excellence for arbitration.

The Act is a positive and constructive solution for dealing with outstanding rent disputes arising from the pandemic. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the outstanding rent, the new binding arbitration process envisaged by the Act will offer an affordable and efficient resolution. I am pleased that CIArb was able to play a key role in working with BEIS during the development of the Act, and we are committed to its success.”

Please note that the Coronavirus Commercial Rent Debt Arbitration Scheme is now open for applications.

Click here to apply

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