Smaller retailers have won a key concession in the battle to secure monthly rental payments.

Major landlords, believed to include Land Securities and Hammerson, are to allow retailers with less than four stores the option to pay rents monthly, with no financial penalty.

The key concession follows intense lobbying from retailers led by Sir Philip Green and Lord Harris.

While landlords have shown some willingness to allow monthly payments since the campaign launched in August, they have until now insisted on a financial penalty to compensate them for the added work involved in monthly collections of rent.