// Boots & Matalan under pressure from landlords to pay overdue rent
// Some landlords have started legal action to reclaim money they are owed
Boots and Matalan are reportedly under scrutiny from property landlords accusing them of failing to pay overdue rent, and in some cases they have started legal action to reclaim money they are owed.
Boots, which has continued to trade throughout the lockdown after being recognised as an essential retailer, was criticised for refusing to pay second quarter rent due at the end of March.
The health and beauty giant will also benefit from the UK government’s decision to scrap business rates for retail, leisure and hospitality firms for the rest of the year.
- Matalan & Poundstretcher under scrutiny over unpaid rents
- Matalan billionaire founder seeks £60m after closing 232 stores
One of Boots’ landlords said it was “a disgrace” that the retailer has held off paying rent for so long, The Guardian reported.
Boots confirmed that it had “paused some payments”.
The UK government has allowed commercial tenants to delay rental payments for three months without fear of eviction, as part of measures to support business during the crisis.
Moreover, Boots announced earlier this month that it would temporarily close 60 of its stores in an effort to redeploy pharmacists to where they’re most needed in busier branches during the coronavirus pandemic.
The retailer said most of the stores affected would be in airports, train stations, city centres and retail parks where there are almost no customers at the moment.
Meanwhile, Matalan was issued with a winding-up petition by a landlord when it failed to pay rent owed.
However, the fashion retailer, founded by billionaire John Hargreaves, has since settled with the landlord.
Last week, Matalan revealed it was seeking £60 million to help it survive through the pandemic after closing 232 stores.
It is considering options to secure “short term funding” after stating that it has not faced “such difficult and unpredictable times” in its 35 years of trading