Eviction ban on firms behind on rent is extended by nine months
A ban on landlords evicting firms for unpaid commercial rent is being extended for another nine months.
The ban, which stops landlords taking tenants to court for non-payment, was due to end on 30 June.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Barclay said the delay in easing lockdown restrictions, announced on Monday, “present additional challenges” to business.
It is estimated that firms in retail and hospitality are £5bn in rent debt.
“Existing measures will remain in place, including extending the current moratorium to protect commercial tenants from eviction to March 25, 2022,” Mr Barclay told the Commons.
Thousands of companies, especially in the hospitality sector, are still unable to trade normally, among them nightclubs and leisure firms.
Hospitality leaders had called for an extension of the moratorium and for more financial support from the government.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said plans remove remaining pandemic restrictions on June 21 have been pushed back to July 19 amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.
Last week, the chief executives of trade groups UK Hospitality and British Retail Consortium (BRC) told MPs that both sectors have accrued a combined £5bn in rent debt.
Data for the first quarter of 2021 shows that only 74% of rent was collected by landlords 60 days following the end of the period after tenants were battered by the pandemic.
Hospitality, leisure and retail operators have also benefited from a business rates holiday since the start of the crisis.