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Mall rentals: Negotiations stall

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The negotiations between landlords and large retail tenants has seen landlords trying to convince tenants to still pay rent, while some tenants believed that they were within their rights not to pay rent and landlords argued that this was unlawful.

CAPE TOWN – The South African Property Industry Group (PI Group) and the Clothing Retailer Group (CRG), which have been in tough negotiations about shopping centre rentals through the Covid-19 crisis, have failed to reach agreement and have asked the government to mediate.

This was according to the PI Group, a collection of commercial real estate organisations co-ordinating a response to the pandemic for the sector. The PI Group also yesterday announced that it had increased and extended its assistance and relief guidelines for retail tenants. All stores barring essential food stores in shopping centres are closed through the lockdown.

The negotiations between landlords and large retail tenants has seen landlords trying to convince tenants to still pay rent, while some tenants believed that they were within their rights not to pay rent and landlords argued that this was unlawful.

The PI Group has the SA REIT Association, SA Property Owners Association and SA Council of Shopping Centres among its members. The Clothing Retailer Group represents The Foschini Group, Truworths, Mr Price Group, Woolworths and Pepkor.

Large affected retailers with more than R1bn a year in turnover could get a 70 percent rental discount in April and pay the full rent in May, or they could opt for a 60 percent rent discount in April and a 50 percent rental deferment in May.

– Staff Writer