UKHospitality has welcomed the announcement of measures to protect commercial tenants including swathes of bars and restaurants that are currently closed and have no revenue to fund rent payments to landlords.
The Government has announced new measures to prevent aggressive rent collection in the wider commercial sector. The measures will temporarily ban the use of statutory demands and winding up orders where the non-payment is due to Covid-19.
The Government is also laying secondary legislation to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is a very helpful and pragmatic response from the Secretary of State and will give hospitality businesses some very valuable breathing room. UKH has pushed the Government to provide extra protection for businesses, so it is good to see positive action. Many businesses in our sector have no revenue whatsoever coming in, so paying rents has been out of the question for a significant number. This is likely to be the case for the rest of the year and further government action is required to address this for the next nine months.
“This extra space will allow businesses to survive and to find a way to work with landlords. If social distancing measures are to be in place for some time, as we now believe they will, this measure must be extended to ensure that businesses can survive. A cancelation of existing sanctions is also very welcome.
“The majority of landlords have understood the challenges the sector has faced, but these measures were much needed to curb the aggressive behaviour of others which, if left unchecked, threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs.”