Retailers & landlords team up with MPs to see if government could fund 50% of commercial rent

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Retailers and landlords have reportedly teamed up with MPs to hold discussions about proposals which could see the government fund up to half of commercial rent to help retailers survive the coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Telegraph, trade bodies have held talks with ministers about proposals which could lead the UK Government to fund up to 50% of rent and services charges owed by businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The “Property Bounce Back” grants will focus on businesses severely impacted by coronavirus lockdown.

This follows a reports that £3 billion worth of commercial rent could be unpaid for the six month period to September.

A joint statement by the British Retail Consortium, British Property Federation, UK Hospitality, ukactive and Revo sayd: “Without urgent action on rents, many otherwise viable businesses are, through no fault of their own, at imminent risk of failure.”

“Where both landlord and tenant are able to cover at least 50 per cent of the rent owed, and are able to demonstrate they are working together as economic partners, government should have the confidence to invest in these businesses’ futures and prevent the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

A government spokesman said: “We recognise the huge challenges being faced by commercial tenants and landlords during this period, which is why we’re working closely with them to ensure they are supported and would urge both landlords and tenants to follow the example of others and find solutions that work for both parties.”

“The government has taken unprecedented action to protect jobs and livelihoods, with a package of around £160 billion of support, including loans, rates relief and grants for businesses to support them through the pandemic.”