CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMICGENERAL PROPERTY

Don’t terminate retail leases, peak body pleas

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THE Shopping Centre Council of Australia which represents the nation’s largest retail property landlords has asked members not to terminate leases because their tenants cannot make rental payments.

In a statement, SCCA chairman Peter Allen, who is also the CEO of Scentre Group, said it has asked members to ensure there are no lease terminations for non-payment of rent for small to medium sized businesses as we work through this period.

“We have been advised that governments have received direct feedback that some owners are not engaging with the empathy that is required during these times. This is surprising, and if correct, very disappointing and frustrating to hear.

“The SCCA asks members to ensure there are no lease terminations for non-payment of rent for small to medium sized businesses as we work through this period,”

Allen said in this difficult period, the SCCA and its members have a role to play to help retailers – especially small to medium sized businesses – to get to the other side.

The SCCA represents the country’s largest retail landlords including AMP Capital, ISPT, Brookfield, Dexus, GPT, Charter Hall, JLL, Lendlease, Mirvac, Perron Group, QIC Global Real Estate, SCA Property Group, Stockland, Vicinity and Scentre.

SCCA members own or co-own approximately 510 shopping centres in Australia comprising approximately 13 million sqm of lettable floorspace, which represents around 68% of the total lettable floorspace of Australian shopping centres.

“We continue to work with the federal government on a suite of measures to provide additional support for small to medium sized businesses.

“It is vital that our industry, as a key part of the economy and our local communities, work collaboratively with government and our SME retailers to support their cashflow and jobs across the economy.” Allen concluded.

SCCA’s plea to members comes as billionaire Solomon Lew prepares to roll up its sleeves and fight landlords in the month ahead.

Lew’s Premier Investments is closing 900 stores across Australia, declaring it will not pay rent during the shutdown and will fight landlords who demand rental payments.

“These extraordinary circumstances mean Premier intends not to pay any rent globally for the duration of the shutdown.” Premier said in a statement.

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