The UK government has announced its extension of the moratorium on lease forfeitures for commercial properties affected by covid-19, including pubs, cafes and restaurants
Venues are now protected from eviction until 30 September 2020.
In addition, the government has released a new code of practice to help facilitate rent discussions, developed through feedback from business advocates such as UKHospitality. The code is meant to serve as best-practice guidelines for tenants and landlords impacted by the pandemic.
‘By putting a stop to unreasonable evictions, these measures will protect jobs and provide further flexibility to our high street businesses that were trading successfully before the Covid-19 emergency, so they can focus on continuing to deliver for their customers and communities,’ commented business secretary Alok Sharma.
The extension and code of practice have been positively received by UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, who has been calling for increased government support throughout the coronavirus crisis and has backed Jonathan Downey’s #NationalTimeOut campaign.
‘This code goes some way to bringing together landlords and tenants in the pursuit of a negotiated solution to allow hospitality businesses to move on and revert to the new normal, but this must be recognised as a first step that needs to be built on by all parties,’ Nicholls said.
‘Further time and support is needed to facilitate a recovery for the hospitality sector, that is at the heart of our social lives and communities. The moratorium should be extended until the end of the year to keep businesses alive and allow the code to support negotiations to find a solution.’