Landlords are preparing to issue their invoices for 25th March (rent quarter day) and this can often be tough for retailers and the hospitality industry. Various retailers have been struggling of late, including Agent Provocateur, Jones The Bootmaker and the owner of Budgens. There may be more troubled businesses on the horizon, especially with the change to business rates (which are predicted to increase substantially in major cities across the UK).
Even though quarterly rent may be enshrined in the lease agreement, landlords are often open to negotiation and may accept monthly rental payments with little or no penalties. The landlord can ask for interest on any overdue rent as per the lease but this might be worth it so the business can survive.
You could also ask for a rent concession. This is most common in shopping centres where the landlord owns the whole building. By helping one business, others can be helped too. The last thing a landlord wants is a group of empty shops which will detract from the centre as a whole.
If your retail business is struggling with a high rent bill, then an alternative option could be a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). A CVA can terminate onerous leases, giving the opportunity to close down under-performing stores or premises. Read our retailer rescue page for more information.