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Government to publish new rent code of practice

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Government step: the new code aims to encourage fair and transparent discussions about rent
Government step: the new code aims to encourage fair and transparent discussions about rent

Related tags: Coronavirus

The Government has established a working group with the commercial rental sector to develop a code in a bid to encourage fair and transparent discussions between landlord and tenants amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It will also offer guidance on rent arrears payments as well as the treatment of sub-letters and suppliers.

The point of the code will be to enable collaboration and co-operation within the sector and help ensure no one part of the chain shoulders the full burden of payment.

The working group will also seek to involve wider business input through its sector members to ensure a greater number are consulted and able to share their views.

Significant step

The code will be temporary and the Government will explore options to make it mandatory, if necessary.

The Government will engage with devolved administrations to ensure the code applies across the UK.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A code of practice can be a significant step in unlocking the current impasse in the commercial property market.

“Hospitality businesses have been hammered hard by the Covid-19 crisis and seen revenues all but dry up since March.”

Protecting communities

She added: “This code should provide a mechanism to agree rent waivers or reductions for the crisis period. To enable this to happen, Government will need to extend the moratorium on enforcement activity that is currently being introduced.

“It is vital the code of practice is enforceable so the burden currently borne by operators is shared more equitably.

“This code could be pivotal in protecting communities and high streets from mass closures and job losses.

“We hope the Government follows this with wider support on rent. We have proposed a summit to determine solutions that will mutually benefit landlords, tenants and the communities in which they operator, and we stand ready to facilitate in any way we can.”

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Related topics: Legislation

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