let’s go halves on rent bills

In a joint statement, the British Property Federation, British Retail Consortium, UK Hospitality, ukactive and Revo said: “Without urgent action on rents, many otherwise viable businesses are, through not fault of their own, at imminent risk of failure.

“Where both landlord and tenant are able to cover at least 50pc of the rent owed, and are able to demonstrate they are working together as economic partners, government should have the confidence to invest in these businesses’ futures and prevent the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

The Government has tried to support businesses by providing grants and loans that, in theory, could be used to pay rent. However, commercial landlords, many of whom are pension funds, were still owed 36.7pc of quarterly rent due on June 26 by early August, with similarly low collection rates during the second quarter, according to data published last week by Remit Consulting.

Retail tenants and landlords appear to be suffering the most, with only 50.5pc of rent due from retail properties for the third quarter collected 35 days after the due date.

There are also concerns that the Government’s suspension of evictions and winding-up petitions, to try to protect tenants, has prompted some tenants to withhold rent despite being able to pay.

Shopping centre owner Intu went bust in June, unable to withstand the effects of the pandemic on top of its long-standing huge debt pile.

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