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Treasury ‘set to extend ban on commercial evictions

The Treasury is expected to extend the current ban on evictions for unpaid commercial rent past the end of this month after delaying the easing of further restrictions, according to reports.

The ban, which stops landlords from taking tenants with rent arrears to court, is due to end on June 30 but could now be extended into the new year, the Daily Mail said.

A new arbitration system could also come into force in a bid to solve disputes between landlords and commercial tenants affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,100 UK nightclubs remain unable to reopen, while thousands more hospitality and leisure firms have seen trading constrained by virus curbs.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said plans remove remaining pandemic restrictions on June 21 have been pushed back to July 19 amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

Hospitality leaders had called on the Government to extend the current rent moratorium and provide further financial support.

Last week, the chief executives of trade groups UKHospitality and British Retail Consortium (BRC) told MPs that both sectors have accrued a combined £5 billion in rent debt.

Data for the first quarter of 2021 has revealed that only 74% of rent was collected by landlords 60 days following the end of the period after tenants were battered by the pandemic.

Hospitality, leisure and retail operators have also benefited from a business rates holiday since the start of the crisis.

However, the Treasury is expected to continue with plans to change this to a 66% discount with a £2 million cap from the start of next month.

The Government is also not expected to alter planned changes to the furlough scheme following the delay.

Currently, the state will cover 80% of wages until the end of this month, with this tapering to a 70% subsidy next month with at least 10% covered by employers, and reducing until it is removed at the end of September.