The Welsh Government is further extending measures to protect businesses affected by coronavirus from eviction until the end of 2020, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has announced.
As part of action to support the business community amid continuing hardship due to Covid-19 the moratorium against forfeiture for the non-payment of rent, which was due to end on 30 September, will now run up to and include 31 December, 2020.
Rent due should continue to be paid whenever possible, but the latest measure will ensure no business is forced out of its premises if it misses a payment between now and the end of the 2020.
This will also ease the burden on retailers at a time of immense challenge for the sector, including the winding down of the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates, said:
“We know there continues to be considerable concern among the retail sector in Wales, and we are extending these measures further in recognition of the incredible difficulties facing them and many other businesses across Wales.
“This will prevent unreasonable evictions in the run up to the crucial Christmas period, protecting jobs and safeguarding businesses.
“However we also recognise the need to develop sustainable ways to provide stability and certainty to businesses and workers long-term in order to drive economic recovery.
“As part of this we will continue to make the case to the UK Government to provide the further necessary support as we plan for a prosperous post-pandemic Wales.”
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said: “Ensuring Welsh businesses can remain open, without fear from eviction is vital to ensuring our town centres can continue to thrive in a post-pandemic Wales. The extension of measure to protect business from eviction until the end of the year, will not only support but provide certainty for businesses I the run up too and throughout the busy festive period.
Businesses have overcome new challenges since the start of the pandemic. The repurposed £9 million of funding I recently announced earlier this year was to support the safe reopening of town centres and to allow businesses to continue to trade in a safe environment despite these challenges.
“Giving our towns a sense of place is more important than ever, and in line with our Transforming Towns agenda we will continue to work collaboratively with partners to build sustainable town centres for the future where businesses can thrive.”
The UK Government has published a Code of Practice to promote good practice for landlords and tenants as they deal with challenges associated with coronavirus.