Deliveroo and a number of other companies have called on the government to extend the commercial evictions ban, allowing restaurants to operate without fear of losing their premises.
The ban is set to end on September 30, and under the current arrangement, landlords can claim back everything they are owed as soon as the ‘rent holiday’ is over, which could lead to the end of many restaurants and other businesses which can’t afford to pay several months’ back rent in one go.
The exemption of rent payments for restaurants and shops began at the height of lockdown in April to try and safeguard high street businesses and protect millions of jobs. It was later extended until the end of September but businesses are now calling for another extension.
Chief executives of firms including Deliveroo, Burger King and Itsu have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for a targeted extension to the rent holiday and for rent repayments to be spread over the course of a year to reduce the immediate financial impact.
However, landlords are opposed to these suggestions and claim that without the threat of eviction, businesses who can afford to pay their rent will choose not to until the commercial evictions ban ends.
The government is said to be ‘working closely’ with both landlords and tenants and hopes to come to a decision which both parties will be happy with.