Ministers are drawing up plans to extend the moratorium on landlords’ ability to evict tenants over unpaid rent.

The business department and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have been talking to the property, retail and hospitality sectors over how best to extend protections for tenants, despite the policy swelling rent arrears to an estimated £4.5bn.

The government may also introduce guidance on how landlords and their tenants should determine how bills are split.

It is thought that leisure and hospitality may be granted continued protection, but not retailers.