Coronavirus: Intu cracks down on late rent payments

Intu on verge of administration after talks with lenders fail
Intu has until midnight tonight to secure a deal for its business, but says it is "likely" to bring in administrators.
// Intu to take “robust action” where rent and service charge payments aren’t paid
// Landsec creates a support fund to provide up to £80m of rent relief for customers who need it the most

Intu is reportedly making preparations to take further actions with tenants who don’t pay the rent and service charges they owe despite the challenges they face during the coronavirus pandemic.

Property Week reported that the shopping centre giant sent a letter to tenants informing them it would “take robust action where rent and service charge payments, contracted under lease obligations” weren’t paid.

Intu also reportedly stated that while it was sympathetic to the difficulties that its tenants are currently facing, it has its “own binding responsibilities to our funders and investors, as you will understand”.

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Last month, Intu said it only received 29 per cent of the rent that was due for the latest quarter, compared to 77 per cent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, retail property giant Landsec – which part-owns Bluewater in Kent and Westgate in Oxford – said “the impact of Covid-19 on our business was now evident”.

Four of its retail outlets and seven of its leisure and retail parks are now closed while others are only partially operating.

However, as retail only makes up 38 per cent of its portfolio it has managed to collect 65 per cent of the rent that was due, although this is much lower than the 96 per cent it collected in March last year.

Landsec was also establishing a support fund to provide up to £80 million of rent relief for “customers who need our help most to survive”.

It also stated that where it was unable to offer assistance from its support fund, it would consider requests to defer rents.

“Covid-19 means it’s not business as usual,” Landsec said.

“But we remain committed to paying our partners and suppliers on time and in full, in line with government best practice guidelines.”

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