As people are avoiding (in theory) travel and shops, TfL has announced that it will scrap rent on small shops that have space in its stations and railway arches for three months.
The move will benefit around 86 percent of the outlets that have rented shops and arches from TfL, and should help to support them during the next few months when the economic impact of the slowdown is likely to be at its height.
In addition, TfL said that any ongoing negotiations on rent reviews and lease renewals will be suspended and all existing tenants with rent outstanding will be given more time to pay.
Michael Lassman, the Federation of Small Business’s London Regional Chair, said: “We applaud the decision by TfL to reduce the rents for small businesses for the next three months. These are decisions that need to be made at this time and we call on all landlords across the capital who house small businesses to follow suit as cash flow as this time is critical.”
Although the move mainly benefits smaller retailers across the entire TfL network, any large retailer who has rented space in a station that closes completely due to Coronavirus will be included in the rent-free period.
The rent relief for businesses will begin on 25 March 2020 to allow it to coincide with the next billing period for rents.
In related news, Network Rail announced that it will be cancelling all first quarter (25th March – 23rd June 2020) rent payments due from its tenants. Network Rail is also canceling all base rent payments for retailers in their managed stations for the first quarter of the new financial year.
Network Rail has around 100 retailers in its stations, and around 1,000 small and medium business tenants.