Thursday, October 1, 2020
UK

UK’s trade bodies urge govt to cover 50% of commercial rents

UK trade

The BRC, British Property Federation (BPF) and Revo have urged the government to extend the moratorium on evictions

The UK’s largest retail trade bodies have reportedly called on the government to launch a Property Bounceback Grant covering up to 50 per cent of commercial rents to keep stores afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BRC, British Property Federation (BPF) and Revo have urged the government to consider the suspension of rent payments during the pandemic and to extend the moratorium on evictions, Property Week reported.

Trade association BRC said it did not think the government would be willing to provide rent relief and that it will instead focus on calling for a further extension of the ban on commercial evictions, which is due to end September 20.

Meanwhile, BPF and Revo oppose any extension, arguing it would further harm landlords and give tenants an incentive to avoid paying rents.

BRC property policy adviser Dominic Curran said retailers were now making decisions about their store portfolios and staff numbers, “so they need to know earlier rather than later whether they’re going to need debt protection”.

BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said the government needs to lift the moratorium so tenants that can pay and “have been hiding behind it as a way of not paying have to pay”.

Moreover, Revo chief executive Vivienne King said the moratorium was only “a temporary emergency measure to cover lockdown” and was not designed as a long-term solution.

Leech said the BPF and BRC were still working with Revo, UKHospitality and UKactive on a campaign calling on the government to introduce the Property Bounceback Grant.

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