22 Nov 2021

One in four commercial property lessees fall behind in rent -report

5:36 am on 22 November 2021

Around one in four commercial property rent payments fell behind during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, with Auckland lagging behind the rest of the country.

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The proportion of rent collected by Auckland landlords on its due date fell to 70 percent in October. Photo: 123rf

Data from commercial property management platform Re-Leased shows there also was an increase in the amount of rent being credited during September and October.

The proportion of rent collected by Auckland landlords on its due date fell to 70 percent in October, compared to the pre-lockdown average of 80 percent.

Throughout the rest of New Zealand, 77 percent of rent was paid by its due date, compared to the monthly average of 83 percent.

Re-Leased chief executive Tom Wallace said landlords had been understanding and providing rent holidays, but smaller landlords may be feeling the pressure.

"In many cases a landlord might be a couple who operated that business, they may have operated that store and it may have been their life's work for 20-30 years and they maintained the property and leased it out.

"Those are the sorts of people that can really struggle and it can really impact them because they rely on that income to live."

Wallace said the retail sector was struggling the most.

In Auckland, just 54 percent of commercial rent was collected by its September due date, compared to 77 percent pre-lockdown.

Outside Auckland, they were 75 percent and 86 percent respectively.

"The 2021 lockdown has clearly impacted tenants' ability to access their premises, in particular those in the retail sector, which has a knock on effect for landlords in longer collection times and larger amounts of rent written off for consecutive months," Wallace said.

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