NEWS

Shopping centre owner Hammerson set to end rent support for tenants

Published on: 22nd October 2021

The move to end rent support comes as shopping centre footfall begins to recover after the pandemic, with a new focus on collecting arrears.

Hammerson crowd checker toolDuring the Covid crisis, retail landlord Hammerson agreed rent holidays and deferrals for some tenants. The government also announced a moratorium on business evictions, in order to support retailers that were struggling during periods of lockdown.

Now Hammerson, a joint owner of the Brent Cross mall and behind Birmingham’s Bullring centre, has decided to bring that strategy to an end, confirming in a statement: “We remain focused on collecting arrears. We do not anticipate granting future concessions and all avenues to collect rents due are being pursued.”

The announcement came as the property company revealed that footfall in all territories has now recovered to approximately 15-20% below 2019 levels. Some centres in the UK actually exceeded footfall numbers from two years ago over the August bank holiday weekend, and have continued to perform strongly since. The company added that sales across its UK centres were in line with 2019 during August and September, while they were around 4% lower in France.

So far in the fourth quarter, which ends on 31st December, Hammerson is believed to have collected 70% of rent due, which is significantly ahead of any quarter since the start of 2020.

Hammerson saw more than £1.6b wiped off the value of its property portfolio in 2020, when lockdowns had a profound impact on the entire retail sector.

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