As the Rent Moratorium comes to an end on 30th June, thousands of operators risk imminent closure as they will be unable to pay their rent arrears owed to landlords for the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Government’s Call for Evidence closes on 4th May and is an opportunity for operators to provide feedback, however it is 93 questions, lengthy, cumbersome and time consuming. Leading leisure property advisors Cedar Dean have created a simplified survey, which also closes next Tuesday. It is 12 questions and takes a few minutes to complete and should provide key elements of an industry response.
Peter Thornton, Australian CFO of London’s only non-stop live music venues The Piano Works, and David Abramson, CEO of Cedar Dean, are calling on the government to resolve the rent crisis by following Australia’s successful rent relief scheme so that thousands of commercial businesses who have been impacted by Covid-19 can survive past the end date of the Rent Moratorium.
The Australian government’s rent relief scheme made it mandatory for landlords to agree to a reduction in rent payable in proportion to the reduction in the tenant’s business during Covid-19. The scheme mandated landlords waive 50% of the total reduction in rent payable and accept deferral of the remaining balance paid back in instalments over the remaining time on their lease. It also ensured that landlords must not draw on a tenant’s security for the non-payment of rent and that banks had to offer leniency to landlords, creating a viable solution for all parties.
We sadly do not have a scheme like this available in the UK, and if nothing happens, we will see widespread closures and job losses across the industry. All of the government support offered so far will be in vain.
To date, 92% of respondents to the Cedar Dean survey are in favour of the government adopting the Australian Rent Relief Model to resolve the rent crisis. Make sure you have your say and fill in the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DAVIDA770