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Property Owners Wait And See If They’ll Be Allowed To Collect Rent Again

The government is set to make a decision in the next week on whether to end the current ban on commercial tenant evictions and using the court system to collect rent. 

The British Property Federation has written to the government urging it to end the moratoriums, which are scheduled to run until 30 September, The Times reported.

The BPF is arguing that well-capitalised tenants are using the bans to avoid paying rent when they can afford to do so. Tenants have argued that the protections are necessary to help businesses being asked to pay rent even though their revenue has been badly hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bisnow is hosting a webinar looking at how landlords and tenants can work together to save the UK leisure industry on 10 September at 1.30pm. To listen, sign up here.

This week it was JD Sport in the spotlight. The company has been trying to renegotiate rents with landlords even though it has £765M of cash on its balance sheet and sales have dropped only 10% this year. 

“Landlords between 2007 and 2015 were increasing rent on a compound annual growth rate of 4-5 per cent every year and they didn’t give a flying toss if I was making any money or not because at the time demand exceeded supply,” JD Sports Executive Peter Cowgill told The Times. “Well guess what — the boot is on the other foot now.”

The counterpoint for landlords was put by Caperon Managing Partner Zvi Noé.

“If you have signed a lease and you can pay, then you should pay,” he said. “Retailers might have a bad year and argue they should pay less, but if they make a multimillion-pound profit another year, they don’t offer their landlord a bonus.”

Bisnow is hosting a webinar looking at how landlords and tenants can work together to save the UK leisure industry on 10 September at 1.30pm. To listen, sign up here.