Collection of rent for commercial properties has climbed to its highest level since the start of the pandemic

New figures from Remit Consulting show that some 84.9% of rent was collected within 21 days of the March quarter date. This is is five percentage points higher than at the same stage in December and four percentage points higher than after 21 days of the September quarter.

Leisure is lagging behind the other sectors, with just 79.9% of rents collected within 21 days. Leading the way is offices at 91.2%. Retail rent collection stands at 85.6%, a rise of 8.6% on the previous quarter. Industrial rent collection stands at 80.5%, with rent collection from mixed portfolios at 87.5%, according to Remit’s analysis.

While the current quarter is seeing the highest rent collection rates for commercial properties witnessed so far during the pandemic, rents are still around 12% lower than those recorded in March 2019, 12 months before the first Covid-19 lockdown.

“The start of the current quarter coincided with the lifting of the government’s moratorium on the eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent and it was hoped this would see a substantial uplift in the collection of rent,” said Steph Yates of Remit Consulting. “However, it seems that while there has been an improvement, we are on a similar trajectory to the previous quarters of the pandemic and still significantly below the collection rates recorded pre-Covid.”

Remit Consulting has been analysing the collection of rent and service charge payments by the country’s largest property management firms since March 2020, working in conjunction with the British Property Federation, RICS, Revo, the Property Advisors Forum, and other members of the Property Industry Alliance. The research covers around 125,000 leases on 31,500 commercial property investment properties across the country.