UKHospitality has welcomed the extension of debt protections to tenants that was announced today, something it has been working hard with the Government to achieve for some time.

As well as the requested insolvency protections being granted, the news that there will be additional protections for non-rent debts will be particularly beneficial for beleaguered hospitality operators, giving them some breathing space to negotiate with suppliers. It will also provide time to find an appropriate arbitration mechanism that delivers on the ‘sharing of pain’.

UKH lamented, however, the missed the opportunity to prohibit County Court Judgments (CCJs), a tool that is being used by some landlords in a vindictive, bullying and, ultimately, pointless manner. We would urge Government to close this loophole at the earliest opportunity.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “The extension of existing protections, along with some further additional ones, is a very welcome response to our lobbying of Government to that end.

“It is right and fair that the economic pain of the pandemic – in which hospitality was one of the worst affected sectors suffering long periods of forced closure and restricted trading – should be shared between landlords and tenants. This move will save thousands of businesses and jobs, and is a key step on the way to recovery for both the sector and the country.”