October 14, 2020
Less Than A Quarter Of Commercial Property Rent Paid
Commercial property renters have only paid 22 per cent of the rent owed for the final quarter of 2020, with a third of rent still owed since March and June according to a study into commercial property rents.
Only 13 per cent of retail property rent was paid, along with 32 per cent of office property and 18.3 per cent of industrial property rent, according to an analysis by property management platform Re-Leased.
These figures come in the wake of a further extension of the restrictions on arrears recovery until the end of 2020 as the current circumstances continue to be volatile for businesses, and will further intensify the debate among commercial property solicitors, tenants and landlords alike.
The Eviction Ban Debate
Since 23rd March, there has been a de facto ban on evictions in the commercial property sector, and whilst residential eviction proceedings have started again, albeit with a six month notice period, this has led to a range of reactions.
For tenants, the extension is a necessary requirement to ensuring small businesses and industries that rely on footfall such as hospitality can continue to recover without the risk of ruination.
As Covid-19 cases continue to climb, it would appear to be irresponsible to remove the safety nets that have helped companies avoid complete collapse.
On the other hand, whilst other businesses have received financial support, landlords have faced similar financial struggles without qualifying for many of the benefits and rescue packages offered to businesses. As seen with the low rent payment figures, this could reach a critical impasse before the ban is lifted.
It is a dilemma and the solution is likely to be as politically minded as legally so.