Commenting on the presentation of the Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill to Parliament, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is a very important piece of legislation from the Government and something for which UKH has been pushing. The Bill should provide businesses with some very welcome respite from aggressive landlords and valuable breathing space to restructure their businesses. It is very encouraging to see the Government listening to the concerns of tenants and landlords, and acting decisively on what is a complex issue.
“It should give some impetus for bringing landlords to the table to understand the pressures that tenants are facing. The majority of landlords have been cooperative but a minority have aggressively pursued hospitality businesses that are moth-balled, have no revenue and cannot hope to pay. It is also positive to see protection extended to landlords to ensure they are not obliged to pursue tenants.
“Extension of the moratorium would allow more time for businesses and Government to get to grips with the scale of the crisis so we can begin to work out long-term solutions to protect local communities. Measures in the bill will provide more breathing space to deliver rent solutions with lower rent liabilities through mandated agreements.”
The Bill introduces a moratorium on the use of statutory demands made between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 and winding up petitions presented from 27 April 2020 through to 30 June where a company cannot pay bills due to COVID-19.