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ukactive has welcomed news today (19 June) that the Government has extended the protection from rent enforcement activity, which posed an imminent threat to gyms and leisure facilities.

The extension of the Moratorium of Forfeiture for three months will provide short-term relief for operators, which remain legally closed – and with zero income – but were facing with the next quarterly rent payment on 24 June.

The news comes as the Government publishes its new Code of Practice, endorsed by ukactive, to support businesses as they plan for the future. ukactive supported the development of the Code to ensure the burden is shared by both tenants and landlords.

Many of ukactive’s 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.

On Wednesday, ukactive re-issued its call for urgent protection (which had earlier been reported in The Times), in collaboration with UKHospitality and the British Independent Retailers Association.

The Moratorium of Forfeiture prevents landlords from issuing legal proceedings against tenants, such as statutory demand notices, winding up orders and Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) – which could have led to mass redundancies and closures.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “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.

“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.”