This new campaign calls for a 3-month extension of the commercial eviction moratorium, alongside a two-year period in which to pay half the back-rent owed. This would provide a government mandated starting point for talks between tenants and landlords to ensure neither group can be unreasonable in negotiations.
In response to the lack of clarity from the government on how hospitality businesses will be supported after the end of the moratorium on commercial evictions on March 31st, the #GiveHospitalityABreak campaign is urging the government to legislate to save the UK’s hospitality industry.
The campaign was launched by commercial property veteran Tony Lorenz, and comes as shocking statistics from IPPR suggest half of all firms involved in hospitality, food and other related services are now dangerously low on cash.
#GiveHospitalityABreak is campaigning for a three month extension on the eviction moratorium for commercial properties, until the beginning of July, then 50% of the remaining rent would be paid in a two-year repayment period.
#GiveHospitalityABreak believes that this will allow operators to take advantage of the gradual re-opening of the economy to be able to generate funds to pay some of what they owe to their landlords, without destroying their ability to continue. Agreement of payment terms would give operators time to assess whether their business is viable, without having to pay a pre-coronavirus rent in a post-coronavirus market.
Some landlords have supported their tenants and worked tirelessly to find solutions. Others, however, are likely to demand the full back rent as soon as the moratorium is lifted: without government intervention, this will lead to mass winding up orders and bankruptcies, that will likely devastate the UK hospitality sector.
Tony Lorenz, founder and spokesperson for #GiveHospitalityABreak said:
“With no word from the government thus far, clarity is urgently needed to avoid bankruptcies, and the follow-on mass unemployment in the sector. That too would have knock-on impacts on the tourism and travel industries, crucial parts of the UK’s domestic offering.
“Tenants and Landlords, need to urgently find ways forward that work for both of them. Legislation would help catalyse just that. What this deal does, is provide a framework for further negotiation. It ensures that there is a government-mandated starting point, for talks between landlords and tenants to ensure neither group, can be unreasonable to the other.
“Without a decisive intervention from the government, the joke will be on them, as thousands of businesses will file for bankruptcy – perhaps as soon as April Fool’s Day – just as we are trying to re-open the economy.”
The group has launched a petition at www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-extend-the-rent-moratorium-by-3-months-defer-half-of-the-rent-owed-for-2-years and has already gained a number of key supporters from within the hospitality industry.