Commenting on the announcement of a Government working group to develop a code of practice to provide guidance on rent negotiations, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“A code of practice can be a significant step in unlocking the current impasse in the commercial property market. Hospitality businesses have been hammered hard by the COVID-19 crisis and seen revenues all but dry up since March.. This code should provide a mechanism to agree rent waivers or reductions for the crisis period. To enable this to happen Government will need to extend the moratorium on enforcement activity that is currently being introduced.
“It is vital that the code of practice is enforceable so that the burden currently borne by operators is shared more equitably. This code could be pivotal in protecting communities and high streets from mass closures and job losses.
“We hope the Government follows this with wider support on rent. We have proposed a summit to determine solutions that will mutually benefit landlords, tenants and the communities in which they operate, and we stand ready to facilitate in any way we can.”