The government has extended the ban on commercial evictions for another three months, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced last week.
The decision will help those worst affected by the pandemic, such as bars and restaurants, to get back to business in May when doors fully reopen for hospitality no earlier than 17 May.
Residential tenants will also be supported as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in all but the most serious circumstances – such as incidents of fraud or domestic abuse – and the requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until at least 31 May.
This will guarantee that residents in both the private and social sector can stay in their homes and have enough time to find alternative accommodation or support as the nation moves through the government’s roadmap.
Because around 49 per cent of hospitality workers and 36 per cent of retail workers currently rent, the new measures will protect jobs as businesses reopen and many more renters can return to work.
Jenrick said: "It is right that as we move through the roadmap, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported.
"We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280 billion economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.
"These measures build on the government’s action to provide financial support as restrictions are lifted over the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift."
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also said the government’s current position is "to support commercial landlords and tenants to agree their own arrangements for paying or writing off rent debts by 30 June".
He said: "This is supported by the code of conduct published by the government last year, setting out best practice for these negotiations. But, if these discussions do not happen and there remains a significant risk to jobs, the government is also prepared to take further steps.
"We are therefore launching a call for evidence on commercial rents to help monitor the overall progress of negotiations between tenants and landlords. The call for evidence will also set out potential steps that government could take after 30 June, ranging from a phased withdrawal of current protections to legislative options targeted at those businesses most impacted by Covid-19. We would welcome a broad range of feedback to this call for evidence."