Discussions took place between landlords and retailers this week to try to move closer to a ceasefire over the issue of monthly rentals.

Representatives of retailers and landlords met on Wednesday at the Owners' and Occupiers' Property Forum to debate the problem, which has caused bitter exchanges between both parties.

Quarterly advanced rental payments have long been a sore point for retailers, which say that the system is outdated and damaging, especially when cash flow is a problem.

But the issue has been highlighted this summer with the news that a retail alliance has been formed – with prominent figures including Sir Philip Green now in the fray – to tackle landlords head on to try to change the system.

During Wednesday’s meeting, it was agreed that landlords should consider more seriously requests from retailers to move over to monthly rent payments on new leases.

However, less headway was made on the biggest sticking point – the perceived lack of assistance retailers receive from their landlords on existing leases.

It was agreed that landlords should be more open to talking to their tenants with a view to easing rental burdens where possible during the present economic hardships.

Meetings between the retailers most closely involved in the dispute are expected in the coming weeks.