Press Releases

24 Jun 2020

The commercial property industry stands ready to support businesses hurt by the devastating impact of Covid-19

24 JUNE 2020, LONDON: The British Property Federation (BPF) today publishes a statement, on behalf of the commercial property industry, to urge any business in financial distress on the second rent quarter day of 2020 to speak to their landlord as soon as possible.

The Government’s Code of Practice was published on Friday 19 June 2020 and should be used as a framework for discussions between tenants and landlords, to support positive engagement and collaboration. The Code was developed with leaders from the retail, hospitality and property sectors to provide clarity for businesses when discussing rental payments and to encourage best practice so that all parties are supported.

Find the Code of Practice here.

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:

“As commercial rent Quarter Day dawns, the majority of property owners and occupiers are working well together, creating shared solutions to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on their businesses. Property owners are committed to working hand in hand with their customers through this very difficult time and will balance support for their customers with their duties to investors, who represent the savings and pensions of 45 million people around the country.

“Well-financed businesses, however, who are able to pay their rent should do so.  Otherwise, you undermine property owners’ ability to support those businesses who truly need it.

“For any business that is concerned about how it is going to meet its rent obligations, I urge you to refer to the Government’s Code of Practice for commercial real estate, published on 19 June, as a way to engage with your landlord. Businesses in genuine need of support will find landlords wanting to offer what support they can, and a range of possible options in the Code – including flexibility around rents and other lease terms could include moving from quarterly to monthly rent payments and providing rent deferrals or payment holidays, depending on individual business’ financial circumstances.

“The Code builds on the many examples of good practice and reinforces the importance of constructive collaboration – not only over the next few months and once the government’s temporary legislative interventions come to an end later this year, but for the long term.

“The success of landlords and tenants working together as economic partners is vital to the UK’s recovery and to help ensure that viable businesses in distress as a result of coronavirus are supported, to protect both people’s jobs and the local authorities, savers and pensioners who own the majority of our town centres.”

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