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Mon 23rd Mar 2020 - Government extends moratorium on lease forfeiture to commercial tenants
Government extends moratorium on lease forfeiture to commercial tenants: The government has confirmed it has extended the moratorium on lease forfeiture and debt enforcement to commercial tenants. It has made the provision for a three-month moratorium on the ability of landlords of commercial properties to exercise any right of forfeiture they may have due to the non-payment of rent by tenants. The government said the provision simply delayed the right of forfeiture and it did not otherwise impinge on a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture or recover rent at the end of that period. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, told Propel: “With the next pending rent day falling this Wednesday (25 March), this move by the government is hugely welcome and will help to protect jobs across the sector. The industry has been pressing ministers for several days to act on this crucial issue and we’re thankful they have responded positively to our concerns. While this removes the immediate cash-flow pressure of quarter rent day, the government has made clear the negotiation is now with lessee and landlord to reach a solution on payment. Hospitality businesses want to work with landlords constructively during this crisis to find solutions and the hope now is they enter into meaningful discussions on the optimum way forward.” London Union founder Jonathan Downey, who has been driving the campaign for a moratorium for commercial tenants, said: “This will make an enormous difference to so many business owners, saving countless jobs and livelihoods. It gives us all breathing space to negotiate a way forward with our landlords. It’s a cease fire to agree the peace. It gives tenants leverage to secure better deals. It’s great news and it may yet be extended. Thanks to everyone who stepped up to help with this and especially to all those who got on board with the message and shared it with the press.”

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