Canadian Manufacturing

Colliers says 21% of surveyed business tenants asking for rent relief

The survey shows that small business tenants were 2.7 times more likely to ask for relief than regional, national or international tenants

May 1, 2020  The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Real estate firm Colliers International says about one in five commercial tenants surveyed requested April rent relief as the COVID-19 shutdown hit business activity.

The company says that 21% of the 7,100 retail, industrial, and office tenants in its managed portfolio across Canada requested relief, and close to half of that share indicated they could not afford to make their rent payment.

Businesses forced to fully close were the most likely to seek relief at 39%, while 23% of partially open businesses asked, as did 12% that operated remotely and 7% that remained open.

The survey shows that small business tenants were 2.7 times more likely to ask for relief than regional, national or international tenants, while retail tenants were 2.3 times more likely to do so than office and industrial tenants.

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Colliers found that 34% of small businesses had asked for relief, and that about 40% of retail tenants had asked.

The real estate services firm says that landlords should handle relief requests case-by-case and help tenants learn about government assistance programs, but that more information is needed on the commercial rent assistance program announced by the federal government last week.