the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 20 July 2008

Rent revolt on the High Street

The country's biggest retailers are uniting to demand a radical change to the way in which they pay their rents moving from quarterly in advance to monthly. Paying three months rent in advance has a significant effect on cash flow for retailers and the change will challenge one of the most contentious tenets of the property industry.

A group of about 15 of the largest retailers including Boots, Next, Argos, Arcadia, BHS, New Look, Carpetright, Carphone Warehouse, DSG and Debenhams are collaborating and they are collectively paying a total of over £2 billion a year in rent and occupy property worth about £40 billion.

The move will be strongly resisted by landlords, who include pension funds such as Prudential and Legal & General as well as large property companies like British Land, Land Securities, Hammerson and Liberty International.

The leases for the high street stores in question are legally-binding and they will almost certainly specifically include a clause stipulating rental payment must be three months in advance.

But increasing numbes of retailers believe that landlords must become more flexible and accept that changes must be made in an industry largely unaltered for decades.

Some landlords have already conceded that a number of their retailers need help (see earlier story) and at out-of-town shopping malls it is not unusual for retailers to pay rent monthly but the fact is not advertised by either landlord or tenant to avoid setting a precedent.

Other retailers that are hovering at the edges of the alliance are Homebase, MFI, Peacocks, River Island, HMV, Mosaic (which owns Jane Norman, Principles, Oasis and Warehouse), Dunelm Mill and Topps Tiles.


This isn't the first time that this issue has been aired and the British Retail Consortium started a campaign in 2006 (see earlier story). However, if the campaign gathers steam it could also see a review of the way that evidence is gathered for rent reviews. Many landlords simply pick a figure out of the air but the rules demand that they support any claim for a rent increase with evidence from a similar property in the same street (or nearby) where a landlord and tenant have settled a rent review or started a new lease in the recent past.

The problem with this system is that evidence can often be six to twelve months out of date but in the absence of any more recent lettings a precedent is still set. This means that retailers could be settling rents at the start of a recession on evidence from boom times a year earlier.

To save money many small retailers do not get professional representation at a rent review and agree rents that are way in excess of the going rate thus setting a new precedent that can lead to a vicious spiral. Retailers should always get professional representation from a qualified commercial surveyor. For a modest fee it could save thousands of pounds in rental payments.

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs