British Property Federation: Combined impact of rent moratoriums, abusive CVAs and punitive business rates undermines PM’s plan to ‘level up’

The Prime Minister yesterday announced the Government’s plan to ‘level up’ the country.

The British Property Federation supports the Government’s ambition to level up the country, breathe new life into town centres and empower more local leaders to make things happen for their areas – but this won’t happen without large amounts of private sector investment and, in order to attract it, Ministers must urgently deal with the huge barriers of business rates, abusive CVAs and the commercial rent moratoriums.

Ion Fletcher, Director of Finance Policy, British Property Federation comments:

“Each year, the commercial property sector invests over £60bn in the UK – supporting communities and creating jobs, new homes, and modern and fit-for-purpose offices and retail environments – yet, the combined impact of the commercial rent moratoriums, abusive CVAs and punitive business rates is putting this investment at risk.

“High street businesses are still paying rates based on rental values from 2015, and well-capitalised tenants continue to abuse protections aimed at smaller and more vulnerable businesses, refusing to engage with property owners or pay any rent when they can afford to do so. Private equity and wealthy business owners also continue to cynically use CVAs as an excuse to shift onto property owners the cost of years of failings and underinvestment.

“This is undermining the attractiveness of UK real estate for the patient, long-term capital that will be crucial to making levelling up a success and ensuring a more positive future for our town centres.”