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Landlords ready to work with retailers on rents

The British Property Federation, which represents the UK property industry, says its member are prepared to talk about rents with retailers that have been hit by the retail downturn.

A joint statement from the British Retail Consortium and the British Property Federation this morning said that commercial landlords were willing to consider monthly payment terms as part of new lease negotiations. However the BPF did not make any reference to its members' stance on existing leases.

Retailers are already negotiating monthly rents on many of their new leases but this week made a renewed call to landlords to make all rental payments monthly instead of quarterly to ease problems with cashflow.

BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: "It goes without saying that landlords want to help any tenant genuinely in trouble. Landlords are committed to providing their customers with a high quality service. It is not in a landlord's interest to see a tenant go under, so where tenants are in trouble, they should speak to their landlord. Retailers who are in trouble will find landlords willing to explore options to help them."

However, British Land, the commercial landlord, said in a statement, "On any new leases british Land is very happy to consider monthly payments as part of the entire commercial transaction, in the same way that we review rental levels, lease lengths, rent free periods etc."

"Any requests for changes on existing leases would be considered on a case by case basis, however these are unlikely to chance unless there is a clear benefit to the company."

The BRC said that retailers should discuss existing leases directly with landlords and that these would be considered on a case by case basis.

Readers' comments (1)

  • We were due to renew our lease last October but told the landlords we were not willing to sign a new lease with retail being so unpredictable. The landlords tried to put pressure on us to sign or quit the premises, we wrote back to them and asked when they would like us to leave, they quickly changed their tone and asked what they could do to get us to stay, we have now negotiated 25% off the rent and are paying monthly with the option to give 6 months notice.

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