// Ministers consider extending commercial property moratorium on evictions
// The eviction ban was due to expire at the end of March
// The policy has helped rent arrears reach an estimated £4.5 billion
The government is reportedly drawing up plans to extend the commercial property moratorium on evictions, in another blow to landlords witnessing shortfalls in rent.
The eviction ban was due to expire at the end of March.
The business department and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have been engaging with the property, retail and hospitality sectors on ways to extend the ban on landlord’s ability to evict tenants because of unpaid rent, The Times reported.
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The policy has helped rent arrears reach an estimated £4.5 billion.
The government may also unveil guidance on how landlords and their tenants should determine how bills are split.
In December, the government said that the moratorium would not extend beyond the end of March after having extended the commercial eviction ban twice already.
The retail sector said the announcement came “in the nick of time”, with the moratorium in England initially due to expire at the end of the 2020.
The government is understood to have eyed the week after the Easter bank holiday for the reopening of non-essential shops.
More than 660,000 jobs in hospitality and a further 170,000 in retail have already been lost during the pandemic.
Businesses are banking on chancellor Rishi Sunak using his March 3 budget to extend the business rates holiday.