Blackstock Consulting’s founder Andrew Teacher was quoted in the Daily Mail, explaining why the government’s decision to extend the moratorium on commercial evictions is an avoidance tactic that doesn’t solve the core issue.

Read the full comment:

“The issue here is less the moratorium on evictions and more the fact that many profitable firms are not paying their rent. Today’s extension will not make the financial pain for businesses disappear – it simply kicks the can down the road.

“Any sane landlord wouldn’t want to kick out a tenant with a functional business and risk the pain of paying empty rates on a vacant building. But the Government cannot continue to put its fingers in its ears over the real damage this does to the property industry and the knock-on effect ongoing uncertainty poses to banks and institutions.

“The problem for landlords is that, politically, extending the eviction ban was an easy decision. Retail and hospitality has been battered by lockdowns, and there are no votes to be lost in bashing real estate firms who often choose not to engage with the world around them or properly explain how things work.

“The upshot is a total lack of understanding of how most property is financed using pension fund cash and with it, a lack of sympathy in situations like this.

“A dozen years back, we were fighting against empty rates and the onset of CVAs. Nothing much has changed. What needs to happen now is for ministers to clearly define who should benefit from the moratorium and for it make clear that profitable firms need to pay up. Otherwise, it’s simply transferring value unfairly from one set of shareholders to another while making a mockery of Britain’s reputation for legal certainty.”