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Scottish Tenants Left in Torment as Landlords Refuse to Compromise

16th November 2020

As a result of the current economic crisis, commercial tenants in Scotland have been placed in a distressing position concerning their imminent rent deadlines. In fact, one in seven Scottish businesses feel that they will not be able to pay rent for the rest of the year unless their landlord can offer a viable solution.

The Scotsman has reported how a survey, undertaken by the Federation of Small Businesses, has concluded that a staggering number of Scottish firms are in the grip of financial struggles.

The findings have highlighted how limited flexibility amongst landlords has exacerbated this problem, with reports that 68% of Scottish businesses have been forced to pay normal rent levels during the pandemic and only 23% were able to negotiate a rent reduction with their landlord. 

The business suffering the most are high street retail, as the restrictions have greatly reduced public footfall in these areas. Andrew McRae, the FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair, argues that the actions of landlords will be critical to ensuring the survival of small firms:

“We want to see these property owners get in contact with their tenants and pro-actively offer help to see them through the winter.”

McRae also brings recognises the role that the Scottish Parliamentary Elections will play next year. He states that the current government measures that were introduced to help businesses are in need of reform and the election would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a greater commercial property lifeline to struggling tenants.

The FSB has suggested that supporting small businesses, who are forced to engage with obstinate landlords, may well be crucial to ensuring their survival across the entire UK. Through this economic crisis, unrealistic rent demands should be addressed with transparent negotiations and the position of vulnerable tenants must be reinforced by governing bodies. 

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