UK Markets open in 6 hrs 12 mins

Land Sec collects on just two-thirds of rent bills as Covid weighs

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

Property company Land Sec is still owed around a third of rent due at the end of March as central London renters remained especially behind on their bills.

The company said it had £33 million of rent outstanding five days after it was due for the last three-month period.

Land Sec, which rents to businesses, said it had agreements with companies that owe it £10 million which might see it recoup a majority of that money.

In that event the level of collections for the quarterly rent will go from 67% to around 77%, the company told shareholders on Tuesday.

Land Sec splits its rent collection into five areas, and measures the proportion of rent collected in the five days after it was due.

The company’s offices, regional retail, urban opportunities and subscale sectors units all collected a larger portion of rent than during the same period last year.

Its “rest of central London” category was the only one with a worse collection rate five days after rent day this March compared with last year.

Only 29% of rent due from the rest of central London had been gathered, compared with 47% a year earlier.

Office rent has been the least impacted by the pandemic, as companies based in offices were largely able to continue business, albeit with staff working from home.

Land Sec said its collections rose from 86% to 87% compared with March last year, but it is still down on March 2019 when collection reached 98%.

Separately, landlord Derwent on Tuesday revealed it had gathered 87% of total rent due in the quarter ending in March.

The company’s strong performance was helped by office space, which forms a majority of its rent base. It collected 91% of office rents but only 24% of retail and hospitality rent.