Tension between commercial property owners and their occupants continues
Tension between commercial property owners
Commenting on the quarterly rent date for commercial properties today, Andy Pyle, UK head of real estate at KPMG, said.
“Tensions between commercial property owners and their occupants remain heated in the COVID-19 climate, not least in light of the moratorium preventing landlords taking certain actions to recover unpaid rent being extended until the end of 2020. By tying landlords’ hands behind their backs and preventing any recovery action for non-payment, we can’t overlook the precarious position this leaves them in. Many of these landlords ultimately consist of our pension funds, insurance policies and savings accounts.
“The woes of our beleaguered restauranteurs or hairdressers are more relatable, but property owners are facing strong headwinds too. Payment of rent has been woeful in so many instances and the moratorium’s extension will likely exacerbate that situation further. Just like the occupants peddling hard to balance the books, so too are landlords – they are working tirelessly to avoid breaching bank covenants.
“The situation isn’t likely to get easier either, especially with the job retention scheme unwinding and COVID-19 knocking on the door once again as cases rise. Now more than ever, landlords and occupiers must put their heads together, collaborate and reach compromise – whether it be rent linked to turnover or more realistic repayment plans of rent arrears. Non-payment of rent this quarter will only make for a more perilous position come year-end, but the key question is whether any non-payment will be out of actual need or merely convenience.”
Notes to Editors
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