Bluewater owner Landsec still struggling to collect rents
UK commercial landlord Land Securities (Landsec) has suffered a slump in rent collections, mainly across its retail properties that include Bluewater in Kent and Trinity in Leeds.
On Tuesday, Landsec, admitted rent collection for the final three months of 2020, due on December 25, was just 65%, compared with 94% at the same point a year earlier. Although Landsec gave no comment in its rental update, the Covid pandemic clearly bit into its ability to collect rents and suffered further by retail failures and restructured rental agreements.
Of the £112 million in rent due, £11 million was deferred due to administrations or CVAs. Of the £35m of rent outstanding, £14m related to customers who have withheld payment pending documentation of agreed concessions.
Meanwhile, rents collected in central London across its mainly retail and leisure properties fell to 29%.
Only 36% of rents due by regional retail tenants was paid in the final quarter as lockdowns and tier restrictions in the run-up to Christmas led to closures.
In the nine months (25 March-24 December), 80% of the net amounts due had been received of the total gross amount of £553 million. Insolvencies and CVA agreements saw that fall £15 million, it fell a further £21 million with agreed discounts and £8 million in deferred payments.
The property giant has an £11.8 billion portfolio spanning 24 million square feet.
On Monday, rival British Land said it had collected 71% of the total amount due for the December quarter. Across the business, £86m of rent was due for payment in the December quarter, comprising £42 million in retail. In its latest period to 7 January, seven working days after the quarter end, it had collected 46% of December rents.
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