Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Landlords

Land Securities sees slump in rent collections

commercial landlords

Around £11 million had already been deferred, reduced or cancelled by agreements or due to administrations and CVA

One of the UK’s biggest commercial landlords has seen a slump in rent collections in the final three months of 2020 as tenants – particularly retailers – struggled to make payments.

Land Securities, also known as Landsec, said rent collection due on December 25 was just 65% – compared with 94% at the same point a year earlier. Bosses had been due £112 million in rents.

Some £11 million had already been deferred, reduced or cancelled by agreements or due to administrations and company voluntary arrangements (CVA). But a further £35 million went missing, including £14 million which is pending documentation of agreed concessions.

Office tenants were the best payers, with 87% making the rent deadline.

But the rest of Landsec’s central London estate, mainly made up of retail and leisure businesses, slumped to just 29%.

Only 36% of rents due by regional retail tenants was paid as lockdowns and tier restrictions in the run-up to Christmas led to closures.

Commercial landlords have been particularly concerned about the state of high streets, with London hit harder than other areas of the country.

The capital has remained a ghost town since November’s lockdown – with just a handful of busier days between the end of the lockdown and introduction of tiering, which saw non-essential retailers close their doors again.

In the nine months to December 24, Landsec said the total gross amount due had been £553 million.

Insolvencies and CVA agreements saw that fall £15 million, it fell a further £21 million with agreed discounts and £8 million in deferred payments.

The company has an £11.8 billion portfolio spanning 24 million square feet, including the Piccadilly Lights in the West End and the regeneration of London’s Victoria.

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