Rent debt threatens 330,000 hospitality jobs

The £2.5 billion in rent debt threatens the future of thousands of businesses and 330,000 jobs in the hospitality industry if the Government does not extend the rent moratorium.

A new survey from industry leader HospitalityUK was submitted to the Government's call for evidence on commercial rents and COVID-19.

The ban on rent evictions is due to end on 1 July 2021.

Over half of hospitality businesses said their landlord had not offered a reduction in rental prices or given them more time to pay.

A further 40% had not been able to reach a deal with their landlord over rent concessions, while 73% said they don't know how they will meet their rent obligations.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls implored the Government "take affirmative action to help hospitality rebuild and play its part in the economic recovery".

She also called for an extension and expansion of protection until the end of the year and "the writing off of a fair amount of COVID-19 rent debt".

In March, Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, argued that emergency measures in the rental market should be eased as other COVID-19 regulations are alleviated.

He added: "Ministers need to ensure tenants have the financial means to pay off rent debts built as a result of the pandemic."

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