Tuesday 31 March 2020 3:48 pm

Retail landlord New River suffers drop in rent payments due to coronavirus

Retail landlord New River received 60 per cent of its quarterly rent due this month as tenants were forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The shopping centre owner said it was working with occupiers that had not yet paid to recover late payments or agree alternative solutions such as deferment or transition to monthly payments.

Read more: Retailers urge government to release tax rebates amid coronavirus crisis

Despite a 40 per cent shortfall in quarterly rent payments, the landlord has fared better than its larger rivals such as Intu, which received just 29 per cent of rent due, and the 37 per cent collected by Hammerson.

The real estate investment trust said 36 per cent of its retail occupiers by gross income were still trading following the government’s order last week for all non-essential stores to close.

Almost two-thirds of New River’s retail assets are anchored by a major food and grocery brand, it said. 

In total, the quarterly rent payments make up 77 per cent of New Rivers retail rent due. The remainder is monthly rents which are due to be paid tomorrow. 

However the landlord scrapped previous guidance due to the uncertainty caused by the outbreak. 

Read more: Coronavirus: Retailers pause online shopping over safety fears

In a statement this morning New River said: “It is too early to assess the overall impact of coronavirus on the business, and therefore New River is suspending all previous guidance on forecasts that it has provided. 

“Given the fast-changing situation, the Company will provide the market with further updates in due course.”