A pub body has been praised, after it decided to stop rent requirements for its commercial tenants.
In a letter to pubs owned by Fuller’s, the chain said it would stop rents completely and will be reviewing the situation as the coronavirus outbreak unfolds.
The letter said:
“We have been monitoring the effect of the Coronavirus situation over the last few weeks and specifically how recent government announcements have affected our tenants.
“It is imperative that, as a business, we ensure your survival and that you can emerge on the other side of this without a worrisome burden of debt.
“To that end, we are stopping all commercial rent from this week for all tenanted pubs, trading or otherwise.”
There is widespread concern about the economic impact of closing pubs and restaurants in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
While some private landlords have shown concern about their tenants’ ability to pay rent, others have demanded they maintain payments, even while some businesses are refusing to pay their staff fair sick pay.
Meanwhile, Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin seems oblivious to the global pandemic, and has said pubs should remain open despite the risks this would involve.
The letter from Fuller’s added: “For the avoidance of any doubt and to provide clarity, this is not a suspension of billing nor rent holiday, this reduction will not be recovered by Fuller’s”.
Reacting to the announcement, broadcaster James O’Brien said:
And podcast host Emma Burnell added:
If only other businesses followed their lead.