British Land reports “encouraging” September rent collections

British Land Meadowhall rent covid-19 pandemic
British Land owns Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield
// British Land reports “encouraging” rent collections for September
// Retailers are on a road to recovery after trading was impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic
// As of October 8, British Land collected 69% of rents it was owed for the third quarter

British Land has seen “encouraging” rent collections for September as retailers that were struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic reported a recovery.

The property giant, which owns Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, said that as of October 8, it has collected 69 per cent of rents it was owed for the third quarter.

However, only 50 per cent of rents owed by retailers had been paid, compared to 91 per cent from office tenants.

READ MORE: British Land pauses search for new CEO as property value drops

Despite this, the total number is an improvement on its second quarter, when only 36 per cent of rents due from retailers in June had been collected during the first week.

British Land said it had remained in “active discussion” with tenants since June, leading to an improvement in rent collections for the second quarter.

It has received 57 per cent of all rents due from retailers for that period.

It expects rent collections for September to “improve further over the coming weeks”.

Furthermore, British Land is currently engaging with tenants on a case-by-case basis to aid those who have been “disproportionately affected” by the impacts of the pandemic.

This has included shifts to monthly rent payments, rent deferrals or partial settlement for outstanding debts, in return for extended leases or commitment to additional spaces.

Moreover, retailers including Debenhams, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley all launched CVAs or filed for administration this year due to the impact of the pandemic.

British Land has subsequently seen 16 of its occupiers operating under new terms, impacting 80 units.

Meanwhile, 13 have closed, 62 have now been given reduced rents, and five remain unaffected.

This has resulted in a £11.6 million reduction in annualised rents for the landlord.

Nevertheless, British Land praised the performance of its retail parks since reopening, with like-for-like sales at stores reaching 90 per cent of last year’s levels during September.

Footfall during the month recovered to 89 per cent of 2019 levels.

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