​Analysis: As June rent day nears, what will retailers do?

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At the last quarterly rent day in March, landlords received a fraction of the rent they were due as stores were forced to close under lockdown. What will happen as rent day approaches this week?

Beleaguered retail property group Intu collected just 29% of due rent on March’s rent day, Hammerson received 37% and British Land was paid 43% of due rent between March 2 and April 30.

Today, Intu said it expects to collect rents and service charges of just £310m this year, compared to £491.6m last year.

Individual landlords have also been affected, with one consortium of independent property owners joining forces last month to form the Landlord’s Union, which has hit back at the government prohibiting landlords from issuing statutory demands and winding-up orders on tenants struggling to pay bills because of Covid-19.

Alongside this legislation, the government has imposed a three-month moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rents, which is currently effective until June 30.

This date, combined with the looming quarterly rent payment day of June 24, is an approaching storm for retail landlords and tenants alike. On one hand, retailers have taken limited revenue for the last three months and some do not have the cash flow to pay their rent. On the other, there are landlords that risk breaching banking covenants if they suffer a second consecutive quarter of subdued rental payments.

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