Trade body UKHospitality is pushing for another extension to the government’s rent moratorium in order to avoid further job losses in the sector.
The organisation has conducted a new survey of members and found that resolving the rent debt issue was critical. More than half of operators surveyed said they have not had a rent reduction from their landlord.
CEO Kate Nicholls says there must be a sharing of the burden between all parties “as businesses simply cannot be expected to pay their rent arrears in full.”
“This is why the Government must take affirmative action to help hospitality rebuild and play its part in the economic recovery,” she said.
“There has to be a sharing of the pain caused by lockdowns and trading restrictions. Government must extend and expand protections until the end of the year, and force the writing off of a fair amount of Covid rent debt.
“The removal of protections would be disastrous and result in a huge increase in enforcement activity – meaning business failures and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.”
The current rent moratorium is scheduled to come to an end in June but not everyone is keen to see it extended.
The British Property Federation, an organisation representing landlords, believes that “normal market rent operations should resume from the June 2021 quarter” with any rent arrears from March 2020 to the June 2021 quarter ringfenced until December 2021, enabling “property owners and their customers to agree equitable concessions where appropriate.”