What can only be labeled a massacre, the retail and restaurant industry is buckiling under the weight of the pandemic with little to no support from government, banks and insurance companies. As a result, many landlords are having to step in to avoid huge vacancies in their properties that they will likely struggle to fill for the foreseeable future.

We have seen landlords step up to the plate to ease the burden that COVID-19 is having on their tenants. Rent relief structures have taken the following forms:

  • Significantly reduced rental payments (anywhere from 20%-80%)
  • Deffering rental payments
  • Waiving rental payments alltogether
  • Instituting a turnover clause
  • Extending the length of leases in lieue of rental
  • Using deposits to cover the arrears amounts

Any one or a combination of the above measures have been applied by landlords in order to protect their tenants but this too comes at a cost to investors, shareholders and private landlords who are also scrambling to to crunch the numbers and avoid the banks foreclosing on their properties.

Banks have allowed landlords to apply for a payment holiday however this does not mean that they are writing off the debt and instead, the capital together with the interest charged thereon are simply being capitalised, meaning that landlords will still be liable for the full amount owed in terms of their loan agreements and the repayments are merely being deferred.

While the landlords have been incredibly generous, this is often still not enough to keep businesses open with the high overheads which are incurred the moment they open their doors. These include staff costs, transport, utilities, catching up payments owed to suppliers, renewing licenses and the costs involved with the newly introduced hygiene protocols for which they simply do not have the funds for thus being forced to close up shop for good.

 

The only way through this is with the full support and buy in from government, insurers, banks and landlords. Without which, the economy, small businesses and financial investments are soon to be decimated.