Government could extend rent moratorium to help further support restaurant industry

The Government is drawing up plans to extend the rent moratorium to prevent a decimation of the hospitality industry.

The move would stop landlords from being able to take action over unpaid rent until the end of the year.

The current policy in place to do so is set to end on September 30, and restaurant owners and publicans have warned many would be turfed out, with spending up but not entirely recovered.

According to the Financial Times, the ban on evictions is due to be rolled into December, however, which is good news for the sector.

UKHospitality, ever vocal and defensive, has long warning a “bloodbath” of hospitality business failures would follow the end of the moratorium on lease forfeiture and debt enforcement if action was not taken.

The trade body has predicted the industry’s unsettled rent bill will amount to more than £1 billion.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A huge economic shadow hangs over the sector; as things stand, later this month, many businesses will not be able to pay rent that is due. Landlords will be able to take back the keys and thousands of sites and the jobs they support will be lost.

“More time is needed to come to agreements. A moratorium that goes on until the end of March 2021 will allow businesses to trade through Christmas and New Year.

“With the ‘rule of six’ in place, that period is undoubtedly going to be tough but at least should generate more cash than had been possible in the closure period, putting tenants into a stronger position to repay debt accrued.”

Recent News from Harden's

Share this article: