UK landlords urge government to ease their pandemic pain

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UK landlords urge government to ease their pandemic pain

In a continued attempt to be seen as supportive and flexible during the ongoing pandemic, the UK government took the property industry by surprise last week when it announced an extension to the moratorium on commercial property evictions and hinted at the imposition of ongoing clemency thereafter.

On the face of it, this would seem like a pragmatic solution to supporting businesses through a period of historic uncertainty. But the country’s landlords – from large institutions to private investors – might argue that they are being asked to shoulder a burden not shared by others in the supply chain. 

Few would disagree with the principle of landlords working with tenants in genuine distress to find a mutually agreeable solution, but the situation has been complicated by well-capitalised businesses hiding behind current legislation to shirk their rental obligations. While the government has a duty to protect as many business as possible, it also has a duty of care to the investors and pension funds that own the bulk of the UK’s commercial real estate stock.

As the government launches a consultation into future handling of rental arrears, industry body @BritProp has pleaded for revisions that to stamp out abuses of the system.  

Simon Stretch, Account Director, Innesco

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