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28/09/2012

Rent quarter day to pile on the pressure for struggling retailers

This weekend is the next deadline for quarterly rent payments, where three months rent is paid in advance for commercial properties. Recent research by R3 shows that 18% of businesses in the retail sector are struggling to pay their debts as they fall due, indicating that this quarter’s rent day could be the final straw for some.

JJB Sports recently filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators and is not the first retailer to have struggled in advance the rent day. Game Group also filed a notice of intention to appoint before March’s quarter day.

Lee Manning, R3 President, comments:

“The retail sector is under enormous strain and the quarterly rent payment represents a significant outgoing for retail businesses. Many leases will have been set up a long time ago, and in today’s economic climate, are not sustainable. Businesses are looking into ways to manage their cash flow more effectively, and are attempting to pay rent on a monthly basis or even negotiating turnover linked rents dependent on future performance.

“It is vital that businesses are given all the support they need to survive this challenging environment where consumer demand is still at a low. This means that landlords need to be more flexible with the recovery of rent, but also that businesses that are concerned about their cash flow seek advice early.

“Whilst a CVA can be a workable remedy, engagement with landlords at an earlier stage can often avoid a more costly insolvency process.

“The quirks of recent case law (Goldacre and Luminar Leisure) have left a horribly inequitable position for both landlords and administrators depending on the precise timing of an administration.

“We are calling for greater clarity surrounding the issue of rent due in the event of an administration; whether it counts as an expense and over what period. The uncertainty of the cost of trading a company in administration is driving approximately 1,200 businesses a year directly into liquidation and hampering company rescue. We need to go back to a pay-for-what-you-use approach, which is fair to everyone. The law needs to be changed in order to support business rescue in the UK.”


-Ends-

For further information please contact:

Antoinette Huka, Communications Officer
t: 020 7566 4217 m: 07825 679 462 e: antoinette.huka@r3.org.uk

Will Black, R3 Communications Manager
t: 020 7566 4215 m: 07917 422 485 e: will.black@r3.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals, and is made up of 97% of the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.
  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by one of nine recognised professional bodies.
  • R3 stands for ‘Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal’ and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals
     

 


R3 Press Office

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.