UK Government extends lease forfeiture moratorium on commercial properties until September

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The UK Government has extended its lease protection policy for commercial entities, taking the pressure off many hospitality businesses who have been closed since mid-March. 

In its Code of Practice for commercial renters impacted by the Coronavirus, the government advises that tenants continue to pay rent where possible, but that landlords show a degree of flexibility, too. 

Originally introduced at the beginning of lockdown, the lease moratorium on commercial rents prevents landlords from evicting tenants, making it illegal to do so. 

Trade representatives have called for an extension to the scheme as it became clear that hospitality businesses would remain closed for longer than originally predicted. 

National Time Out campaign leader Jonathan Downey recently said a phased return to full payment of rent should last until March 2021, to give restaurants, bars and pubs the time to recover and footfall to increase before resuming normal overhead payments. 

UKHospitality applauded the government's decision to extend the moratorium, with chief executive Kate Nicholls commenting the following: “The hospitality sector has seen its income almost totally wiped out by this crisis and therefore businesses simply cannot meet their rent obligations. Although the majority of landlords have been pragmatic, a minority have aggressively pursued tenants that have been closed for months and no ability to pay.

“This code goes some way to bringing together landlords and tenants in the pursuit of a negotiated solution to allow hospitality businesses to move on and revert to the new normal, but this must be recognised as a first step that needs to be built on by all parties.

However, the battle is not yet over for hospitality businesses, she stressed, and added: “Further time and support is needed to facilitate a recovery for the hospitality sector, that is at the heart of our social lives and communities. The moratorium should be extended until the end of the year to keep businesses alive and allow the code to support negotiations to find a solution.

“The reality is that we are now at a point where fiscal support is going to be needed in many cases. It is now the only option if we want to avoid widespread business failures. The Government must consider supporting hospitality businesses who cannot pay rent.”

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 19th June 2020

UK Government extends lease forfeiture moratorium on commercial properties until September