The government is to extend its moratorium on commercial tenant evictions until the end of is 2020 easing the burden beleaguered hospitality sector. The current cut-off date September 30th. The move comes as the Government faces increasing pressure to help businesses who are still struggling with the effects of COVID-19.
In a statement, the government said it had extended its ban on landlords evicting commercial tenants behind on their rent payments until at least the end of the year, in a bid to protect jobs.
The secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick said extending the ban until the end of the year would give struggling high street retailers and restaurant chains a chance to “focus on rebuilding their business over the autumn and Christmas period”.
Jenrick, however, said that “where businesses can pay their rent, they should do so” as the measure was only designed to support those “struggling the most during the pandemic”.
Earlier this week leading figures in hospitality and retail warn that retailers and restaurants could be at risk of closure come the end of September with the clashing of the eviction and the next quarter’s rent bill.
UKHospitality wrote to the Chancellor warning that a failure to act urgently to rent crisis will result in a ‘bloodbath’, with hospitality businesses failing and subsequent job losses .Over the past weekend, leading restaurant groups including Burger King and Itsu wrote to Boris Johnson wrote to Boris Johnson to ask him for a targeted extension of the eviction ban, citing a ‘critical risk’ for restaurants from October 1st.
The letter said that many landlords had made it clear that they intend to use the end of the moratorium to proceed with winding up petitions to tenants in arrears with rent affecting large high-street chains as well as individual businesses, the letter cautioned that unless protection is extended businesses will face enforcement activity and eviction.