'Landlords need to be flexible with rent amid uncertainty'

The newly re-laid Fore Street in Sidmouth

The newly re-laid Fore Street in Sidmouth - Credit: Vince Page

As we all head towards the season ahead with a degree of uncertainty, all patterns of trade have clearly fallen by the wayside as we attempt to get to grips with the new normal.

Well, the new roads all look very presentable, but we could do with a more vehicles on them bringing visitors to the town, but no doubt the sun will play its part in orchestrating that one. 

With such uncertainty surrounding trade in general for businesses, it may be time for landlords to take a more creative approach when it comes to the rent.

With such an unpredictable future would it not be productive for both landlords and business owners to be flexible with their rental payments paying more than the monthly payment in the premium months during the season, which will only serve to reduce the payments during the winter months, giving businesses the opportunity to effectively put themselves in credit with their rent which would no doubt save a lot of sleepless nights during the quieter times.

Business has to be on a win-win basis for both parties to feel comfortable with the circumstances and in order to encourage this, would it not be an option for landlords to offer a small reduction in the rent due if tenants were able to get ahead of themselves with their rental payments by an agreed term and amount. 

This would surely incentivize the business to pay as much as they could in order to buy themselves a period of “no payment required” in the early months of the year when most retail businesses experience a drop in trade, in very much the same way as is carried out by most councils when it comes to council tax payments.

Now, I am sure there are plenty of people who would take the attitude that they should keep the funds in their own account and earn the interest on it without lining the landlords' pockets any sooner than is necessary and that is entirely your prerogative, but surely if there is a small discount on offer in order to secure less stress and worry that may not be such a bad thing?