Finance Minister Conor Murphy has extended emergency protection for tenants having difficulty paying rent on commercial leases as a result of the pandemic for a further three months.

The special provision in the Coronavirus Act 2020 which was first applied at the end of March 2020, is being extended once again, until 30 September 2021, giving a total of 18 months special protection.

Making the announcement, Conor Murphy said: “Although most restrictions have now eased, economic recovery will take some time and I believe the extension of these provisions is necessary to give businesses some much needed stability and certainty in the months ahead.

“This protection for tenants has been accompanied by significant financial packages of business support provided by the Executive. In addition to the grant schemes, over £500 million in business support through 24 months of rate holidays has been provided to the hardest hit sectors, including retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism.

“As we move forward, we continue to take full account of our local situation here for both tenants and landlords; this three months period ahead gives us the opportunity to engage with the business sector in relation to next steps.”

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