The Welsh Government has announced the decision to extend the lease forfeiture moratorium until 30 June 2021, in a bid to protect business owners including those in hospitality from eviction.
The support measure, which was due to end on 31 March, will now ensure that no business is forced out of its premises “if it misses a payment between now and the end of June this year”.
It comes as part of the government’s package of business support, which has ensured that £1.9bn in funding and support has reached businesses since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the relief being extended until the summer, government officials have said that “businesses should continue to pay rent wherever possible”.
The decision to extend the lease forfeiture moratorium has been welcomed by UKHospitality Cymru, with David Chapman, executive director of the trade group labelling the move as “positive and pragmatic”.
He said: “Businesses have been forcibly closed or operating under the most severe restrictions for a year. All the while, they have had to continue to meet costs and rent has remained a very significant one.
“Although some landlords have been helpful and engaged with tenants, the crisis has escalated for many businesses. The spectre of rent debt continues to loom over the sector even as we begin to prepare for our reopening.”
He added: “The extension to the moratorium will give us valuable breathing space, but we will still need a permanent solution to the problem.”