Code of practice for rent negotiations welcomed

The code acknowledges that landlords “should provide support to those businesses unable to do so”.

UKHospitality (UKH) has welcomed the government’s extension of the moratorium on lease forfeitures and enforcement activity until the end of September, alongside a new Code of Practice to facilitate rent negotiations.

The trade body said it had called on the government to consider extending the moratorium further to allow businesses time to assess the state of the sector’s recovery, also reiterating the need for government financial intervention to provide support to “bridge the gap between landlords and hospitality tenants, who have been closed for months with virtually no income to pay their rents.”

The code, which has been developed with input from UKH, encourages tenants to pay rent in full where they can but also acknowledges that landlords should provide support to those businesses unable to do so.

“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,” UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said in a statement.

“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.”

UKH also welcomed clarification that hospitality supply chain businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible for discretionary grants.

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