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The Commercial Tenants Association (CTA) has issued a call for the government to implement a business rent scheme similar to that applied in Australia, as small firms struggle with debts.

Both businesses and the CTA are urging the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, to introduce a scheme whereby the landlords who own commercial properties would have to write off a minimum of half of the rental debts that companies have built up over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This would be similar to the rent relief policy that has been introduced across Australia, which requires commercial landlords to accept reduced rent repayments based on how much the profits of the business in question have been impacted by Covid-19. In some cases, this can mean a total waiver of existing rent debts.

Should such a scheme be introduced here as well, accountants in Goole or elsewhere will be equipped to help small firms work out the figures necessary to assess their rent repayments.

The Chief Executive and founder of the CTA, Peter Bell, told Small Business that:

“We want to see a fair scenario where tenants are listened to and have an opportunity to present their financial position in private arbitrations versus going to court, which then becomes more public.”

The level of unpaid commercial rent debt following the pandemic is estimated to be around £6 billion. The government has already confirmed that the freeze on repayments will be kept in place until the spring of 2022 to try to avoid widespread small business closures.

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