Commercial landlords are anxiously waiting to discover if the Government intends to extend the evictions ban until the end of the year.
The Financial Times quotes Government sources who say it’s preparing to extend the ban which prevents commercial tenants, such as offices and retailers, from being evicted from their premises, and set to end on 30th September.
It risks angering many landlords if it does, who are still hurting from collecting only 18.2% of commercial rents on the last quarter day, 24th June. They claim it has been misused by some tenants who can afford to pay rent.
According to Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, the moratorium must come to an end. She says: “Well-financed businesses have been exploiting the Government intervention to avoid paying rent, when they are indeed able to pay, and this puts at risk our sector’s ability to support vulnerable tenants.”
Shops and restaurants in city centres, particularly London, are struggling with far fewer customers with some retailers such as New Look demanding that landlords provide them with rent reductions.
Other trade bodies including UKHospitality and the British Retail Consortium have joined calls for the Government to step in and support companies struggling with the pandemic, with measures including grant support.
The British Chambers of Commerce has also called on it to introduce a comprehensive stimulus package to reduce the overall cost burden on firms.
It suggests changes to the Employment Allowance and an increase to the threshold for National Insurance contributions. In a letter to the Prime Minister, BCC president Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith says businesses face “the most difficult trading conditions in post-war history”.