The latest figures have indicated that commercial property owners collected less than half of quarterly rent owed by retailers last month.
The figures come with most non-essential retailers being forced to close owing to new lockdown restrictions, with December’s figures also being impacted by the November lockdown in England and Wales and tiered restrictions during December.
British Land, one of the UK’s largest retail landlords, said that it expected the first quarter of 2021 to present similar issues to those faced in March 2020, when the first national lockdown was in place and just 49 per cent of rent was collected.
Commercial property in the retail sector began to recover last summer, with 73 per cent of rent in the retail sector being paid in June and 72 per cent in September.
However, British Land stated that in December three-quarters of their stores were open in the run-up to Christmas, but this figure has now dropped to 32 per cent, signalling that further issues may be ahead for the sector.
Billions of pounds in rent payments have been deferred by firms during the coronavirus with the moratorium on evicting commercial tenants due to unpaid rent currently set to end on 31 March 2021.
Research by Re-Leased, a commercial property management platform, has found that commercial landlords in the UK have received 55 per cent of rent due for the last quarter, with some sectors performing better than others, particularly the industrial and logistics sectors.