These measures, included in the emergency coronavirus bill, which is currently going through parliament, means no business will be forced out of its premises if it misses a payment in the next three months. Commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period and the Government is also actively monitoring the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and continues to be in dialogue with them.
UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “With the next pending rent day falling this Wednesday (25 March), this move by the Government is hugely welcome and will protect jobs across the sector.
“The industry has been pressing ministers for several days to act on this crucial issue and we are thankful they have responded positively to our concerns.
“While this removed the immediate cash flow pressure of quarter rent day, the Government has made clear the negotiation is now with lessee and landlord to reach a solution on payment.
“Hospitality businesses want to work with landlords constructively during this crisis to find solutions and the hope now is they enter into meaningful discussions on the optimum way forward.”
Peace of mind
Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said small businesses would welcome the decision to ban evictions for commercial tenants for three months.
He added: “This will give peace of mind to millions of small businesses that are desperately struggling with cash flow.
“We know sensible conversations between landlords and commercial tenants are taking place but having this legislative backstop to prevent evictions during the worst of the crisis will provide much-needed peace of mind for many small businesses.”
The coronavirus bill also includes new measures to ensure business improvement districts are equipped to continue their role in managing the impact of the crisis on local economies and helping town centres and high streets recover.