- Up to 75% of nightlife venues could face bankruptcy when rent suspensions end in July.
The Night Time Industries Association predicts Covid-19-related rent debts could cripple the live music industry.
Speaking yesterday, Wednesday, May 12th, to 20 politicians in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Night-Time Economy, the NTIA urged the UK government to resolve a rent crisis that could lead to numerous venue closures and thousands of job losses. The NTIA propose a shared burden solution, so that tenants, landlords and the government all contribute towards rental debt.
The government offered rent suspensions and prohibited evictions in March 2020 (and has since extended the period multiple times), but this moratorium is set to be lifted on July 30th, allowing landlords to begin collecting rent arrears. The NTIA call this action alone "short-sighted and perfunctory," and call for more support for the industry.
"Time is not on our side and business owners are continuing to take on further rent debt throughout this period of restrictions," said Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the NTIA. "This will inevitably compromise their future and the regeneration of the industry. This needs urgent government intervention and will require the government to bring forward a policy that allows tenants, landlords, and government to share the burden of debt from rent arrears... We must avoid this cliff edge."
A letter addressed to the government today contains the findings of a survey of 360 UK businesses in this sector while 80% of commercial tenants are still facing unproductive discussions with their landlords. 75% of commercial tenants will be forced to look at insolvency or restructuring if further support is not provided after the rent moratorium. 93% of commercial tenants have encountered substantial job losses and 70% believe there will be further redundancies post-moratorium. 92% of commercial tenants are in favour of an Australian Rent Model, featuring a shared burden between tenants and landlords.
The NTIA is an independent body of nightclubs, bars, music and entertainment venues.