Restrictions on landlords evicting private and business tenants in England will buy struggling pubs and restaurants enough time to start trading again, the Government has said.
Landlords wanting to evict residential tenants will have to give them six months’ notice periods and will be banned from using bailiffs until the end of May, under the rules.
The protections will then taper off from the start of June.
Meanwhile, landlords will be banned from evicting commercial tenants, including struggling pubs and restaurants, until the end of June.
It will give hospitality companies some breathing room after their doors reopen no sooner than May 17, the Government said.
“It is right that as we move through the road map, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported,” said Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure businesses get the support they need to get through this pandemic and reopen when it is safe to do so.
“I know business owners will welcome this latest package of support and the breathing space it will give them to prepare for a safe reopening, and, ultimately, to build back better.”
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that retailers have lost more than £22 billion in sales and the rules provided “vital protection” against landlords pushing businesses into administration.
“After months of lockdown, this announcement provides much-needed breathing space to retailers, many of which are sitting on rising rent liabilities,” she said.
The National Residential Landlords Association called for the Chancellor to offer interest-free Government-backed loans to tenants to help them pay off rent debts that have been built up over the last year.
Its chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “We welcome clarification that emergency measures in the rental market will be phased out in tandem with the overall road map out of lockdown restrictions.
“This is vital for those who do not qualify for benefit support. Without this, more tenants face losing their homes, and many will carry damaged credit scores, making it more difficult to rent in the future and causing huge pressure on local authorities when they can least manage it.”