The office rental market is under the same financial strains as the residential one, but one landlord’s unusual and generous offer to his tenants shows commercial landlords can be accommodating too.
A kind-hearted landlord has used his small business grant to give tenants a rent holiday, unlike many of the larger commercial landlords.
Alan Munro, who runs an accountancy firm in Salisbury, rents out offices in his two-storey premises to the Alzheimer’s Support and Digestive Cancers Europe charities along with a drum studio.
But instead of pocketing his £10,000 grant from the Government to help firms during the crisis, the small business owner waived all their rent.
Says Alan: “I got the grant through from the council because the building was closed. The purpose of this grant is to get businesses to survive and whilst I have interest costs in the mortgage I took out on the building, that doesn’t use up £10,000 in three months.
“Given that the offices are closed and they don’t use any electricity and stuff like that it seemed very fair to me. The scheme is not there to make a profit.”
Alan often organises events and sponsored runs to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Support, which is losing about £7,000 a week as donations dry up. It says although it has a number of premises around the country, Alan was the only landlord to waive its rent.
And Alan has this message for other landlords: “If you are a rental business and you have received a grant, ask yourself why would you collect your rent if you’ve got enough money to maintain the building and pay your mortgage.”