Government extends rent moratorium

The government has extended the rent moratorium, which is currently in place to protect commercial tenant from eviction as a result of failed payments, to 25 March 2022.

It was due to expire at the end of this month, but yesterday (16 June) Steve Barclay MP, chief secrtary to the Treasury, confirmed to the House of Commons that the support would continue as businesses struggle to trade viably.

UKHospitality estimates there is currently around £2.5bn in rent arrears built up by hospitality firms during the course of the pandemic.

The extensions to moratoria on commercial evictions and to debt recovery actions, and the introduction of an arbitration process to guide settlements between landlords and tenants are wholly in line with proposals recommended by UKHospitality in its response to the call for evidence on rents earlier this year.

“These measures are wholly welcome and will banish a grim shadow that has hung menacingly over hospitality since the Covid crisis began 15 months ago," says Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality’s CEO.

"The legislation will form a strong bedrock for negotiated and fair settlements that can help heal the damage that the pandemic has wrought, and is a hugely positive signal that the Government has been listening to our sector, and acted to ease its plight.

“Thankfully, many landlords and tenants have managed to come to an amicable arrangement over rent arrears, but many could not and the government’s announcement brings in an equitable solution where there is a sharing of the pain.

“These are unprecedented measures but wholly merited and justified in these unprecedented times, bringing some stability back to an uncertain and unsettled property market.

"At last, this existential crisis for hospitality looks like reaching a fair conclusion, easing a path to recovery for a sector that can help the national economy back to prosperity.”

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