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Rent fears prompts plea for landlord flexibility

Andrew McRae

Andrew McRae: ‘some landlords have offered no help’

One in seven Scottish businesses fear they won’t be able to make rental payments during the rest of 2020, according to a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) survey.

The small business campaign group wants more commercial landlords to offer rent discounts, deferments and holidays to their small business tenants grappling with the coronavirus crisis. 

Its poll shows that seven in 10 (68%) Scottish rent-paying businesses have been forced pay rent as normal throughout this crisis, with only about a quarter of firms (23%) able to negotiate some variety of compromise with their landlord.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said: “Over the course of 2020, Scottish businesses located in high streets, office blocks and industrial estates have faced everything from disruption to temporary closure.

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“Many of these firms have seen a collapse in their income, while other have not been able to use their premises since the start of the year. 

“Feedback from our members suggests that some landlords have done the right thing and offered flexibility to their small business tenants. Other landlords, however, have offered no such help and have piled pressure on local operators.

“As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, we want to see more landlords share the burden of this crisis with Scotland’s small business community. We want to see these property-owners, and their representatives, get in contact with their tenants and pro-actively offer help to see them through the winter.

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