Operators have been urged to provide evidence about their experience as commercial tenants during lockdown, as the government seeks a “carefully managed exit” from business protections.

A moratorium has prevented commercial landlords from evicting tenants unable to pay rent.

Landlords have also been restricted from recovering rental arrears through the seizure of goods or by issuing statutory demands and winding up petitions.

With these measures in place until 30 June 2021, the government is now seeking the best way to withdraw or replace these protections.

Having encouraged landlords and tenants to have an open dialogue about rental arrears, the government said it “will not hesitate to intervene further” if productive discussions are not taking place.

The aim is to better understand how landlords and tenants are responding to the build-up of rent arrears, and the risk to economic recovery posed by remaining rent debts.

The evidence gathered will inform any need for additional measures to “preserve viable businesses”.

The government is seeking responses by 4 May 2021. To contribute, click here