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Retailers urged to engage with landlords as Government confirms firm end date to rent moratorium

Lauretta Roberts
09 December 2020

Retailers are being urged to engage with landlords over the affordability of their rents after the Government confirmed there would be no extension to the commercial rent moratorium – introduced to support businesses through the Covid-19 crisis – at the end of March 2021.

To date commercial landlords have been forbidden from evicting tenants who do not pay rent on commercial properties but that will change when the moratorium comes to an end.

The British Property Federation (BPF) is urging businesses to begin talks with landlords about what rent they will be able to afford moving forward, as it recognised many businesses would need further support.

However, the Federation also welcomed the move saying it brought clarity for landlords and would put an end to well-capitalised businesses, who are able to pay rent, refusing to do so.

“Today the Government has confirmed that it is time to plan for the future and give the commercial real estate sector the clarity it needs in order to play its fundamental role in the UK’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

“Ministers have rightly highlighted and commended our sector’s commitment to supporting tenants during what has been an incredibly tough year – and we recognise that those hardest hit will need further support through the winter. Any tenant who has not already engaged with its property owners, and is truly struggling, should now come to the table and be transparent about what they can afford.

"Equally this announcement signals the end of the road for those who can pay rent, but have so far refused to. The Government has made clear they must now pay their debts," British Property Federation CEO Melanie Leech said.

 

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