Two-thirds of high street retailers have been told by their landlord that they will be subject to legal measures from July when an agreement with commercial landlords comes to an end.
iNews reports that as of 30 June, a moratorium agreed at the start of the pandemic the prevented commercial landlords from taking legal action to claim rent to evict tenants comes to an end, meaning that there could be more high street closures in the near future.
Many retailers have been hit very hard by the COVID-19 crisis, having had to close their doors for the majority of the last 15 months, and have acquired large debts, estimated to be around £2.9 billion, that they are only just being able to repay
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), almost a third (30 per cent) of retailers have already faced County Court judgements from commercial landlords.
It has been reported that 80 per cent of tenants have said that landlords have given them less than a year to clear rent arrears accord during the pandemic.
Retailers are running out of times to save their businesses, and where an agreement cannot be reached by 1 July between retailers and landlords, many shops will find themselves unable to maintain their presence on high streets.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said that the government needs to ringfence rent arrears from the pandemic to give them time as they wait for increased footfall and revenues to return.
“With this in place, all parties can work on a sustainable long-term solution, one that shares the pain wrought by the pandemic more equally between landlords and tenants,” she said.
“Without action, it will be our city centres, our high streets and our shopping centres that suffer the consequences, holding back the wider economic recovery.”
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