The British Property Federation (BPF) is urging any business in financial distress ahead of the first rent quarter day of 2020 to speak to their landlord as soon as possible.
‘The first rent quarter day is on 25 March and the commercial property industry is committed to supporting its customers who are concerned, through no fault of their own but due to coronavirus, about rent liabilities,’ BPF said.
Businesses will have immediate relief measures available to them – flexibility around rents and other lease terms could include moving from quarterly to monthly rent payments and providing rent deferrals or payment holidays, depending on individual business’ financial circumstances.
Property owners, however, are similarly facing the impacts of coronavirus on their own businesses and will need further intervention from Government – including measures such as rent subsidies to tenants – if they are going to help as many businesses as possible come through the next few weeks.
BPF’s CEO Melanie Leech said: ‘The retail, leisure and hospitality businesses at the heart of our high streets are at the sharp end of the crisis and property owners are already working with their retail, leisure and hospitality customers who are in temporary distress in the run-up to the first rent quarter day of 2020, to be more flexible on rent and other lease terms, including for example by moving from quarterly to monthly rent payments and providing rent deferrals or payment holidays.’
She continued: ‘As the disruption continues, the challenges facing these businesses will spread to other types of property occupiers and property owners will stand ready to support those that need it. We urge those businesses who find themselves in financial difficulties, through no fault of their own but due to the impact of the coronavirus, to contact their landlord to discuss payment plans as soon as possible.’