The government has announced that it will keep the Moratorium of Forfeiture, which protects businesses from rent enforcement activity, in place for a further three months.
The measure will now be in place until the end of September, providing relief for gyms and leisure centres which were facing the next quarterly rent payments on 24 June, despite having been forced to close their doors for business on 20 March.
The decision has been declared a victory by industry body ukactive, which had identified potential legal action by landlords as an imminent threat to fitness operators and had actively lobbied for the extension.
According to ukactive, many of its members were facing evictions, winding-up orders and other enforcement activity as the government’s protection from landlords was set to expire on 30 June.
“We are pleased the government has engaged with us and our partners in other sectors to listen to the urgent needs of our members as we reach a crucial moment in our preparations for reopening,” said Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive.
“The extension of the Moratorium of Forfeiture means that gyms and leisure facilities can plan for reopening with renewed confidence and focus, without the threat of legal action.
“We respect the pressures on landlords at this time and it is our hope that the new Code of Practice will work for all parties to ensure we get back to business as swiftly and safely as possible.
“We will continue to work with the Government to make sure our members continue to receive the essential support they need to get back on their feet once they can reopen.”