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Rental moratorium extended, protecting businesses from eviction until 2021

16 September 2020 by

Businesses will be protected from eviction from commercial units until the end of 2020 after the government extended its moratorium on landlords taking action over unpaid rent.

Operators had been faced with the prospect of lengthy court proceedings or even property owners changing the locks once the existing arrangement ended at the end of September.

Welcoming today's announcement, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "This is a welcome step forward and should give businesses some much-needed breathing room to come to agreements. This alone, however, is not going to solve the crisis.

"It's critical that the government also extends the moratorium on statutory demands and winding-up petitions and include county court judgements. This should be extended until the end of March 2021 to give maximum opportunity to find solutions.

"It needs to be followed by further support which, crucially, must include working with landlords and tenants to find a mutually equitable solution. The debt is not going to go away and many businesses have no chance of paying. This is a stay of execution, but we are still short of a full reprieve."

The government has renewed its calls for landlords and tenants to negotiate agreements independently, but also extend the restriction on landlords using commercial rents arrears recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of the year.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said: "During this particularly challenging time for businesses, it is crucial that both landlords and tenants have the clarity and reassurance they need to build back better from the pandemic.

"Extending the temporary measures we put in place earlier this year to protect businesses from the threat of eviction will give them some much-needed breathing space at a critical moment in the UK's economic recovery.

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