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FSB London says the time has come for landowners and landlords to support small tenants before we lose them altogether

The Federation of Small Businesses London Region are calling on all landowners in the capital, with over 500,000 square feet of floor space in their London portfolio, to monitor and report on their corporate structures by providing an annual ‘supporting small business statement’.

A new ‘Statement of small business support’ will help tenants who are:

  1. Adversely affected by their rent reviews
  2. Concerned with the level of account management by landlords;
  3. Being forced to opt out of the 1954 Landlord and Tenants Act that provide extra protections to small tenants.

New FSB data released today shows that 70% of small firms have a rent review within the next three years, with the average increase expected to be an average of 25%.

More than one in five (21%) of our members expects to vacate their commercial property which is not by choice and a third (34%) expect to remain in the property with unfavourable terms.

The data shows that the average small business in London, with commercial premises, now pays 27% in rents & rates in London – compared to 20% when asked in 2016.  The 9th April 2019 is therefore the ‘Rent and Rates Freedom Day’ when small firms in London stop paying these flat indirect costs from the start of the calendar year.  

The data also showed: in the year since the business rates revaluation, 58% of London businesses said that the business rates increase had led to a negative impact on their business, 22% said there was no change and 13% said it was too early to tell. 7% said the rates revaluation had seen a positive impact.

Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, said:

“The FSB have heard of too many cases of landowners and landlords having ridden roughshod over their smaller tenants, and not found ways to support the independent small businesses who make up over 99% of the London economy. 

“For small tenants to survive and thrive they need a landlord that is on their side, working with them to navigate through the complexities of running a business and to shrink the high cost of doing business in the capital.

“Responsible landownership must become a priority to strengthen the relationship between large and small businesses -  the relationship between the two continue to decline with the  poor payment culture which is running rampant in the UK economy.

“We urge the landlords, authorities, estate management companies, property investment companies who own the majority of commercial space in the Capital  to stand up and be counted and incentivise small firms to remain, or take up space, in London.”

Commercial Premises Survey In The Capital

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the survey:

  • Target Market: London Based Small Businesses  Survey date:  April – May 2018
  • Sample size: 105  Small Business Owners / Business Representatives
  • Key Segments:
    • Number of employees: Zero, 01 – 09, 10-49, More than 50
    • Half of businesses based in Zones 1 and 2

    • Rent and Rates freedom day: Micro and small business (with commercial premises) are paying 19% of their turnover on rents and 8% on business rates. 27% of the year will take us from January 1st to April 9th – and April 9th will be the date when they are free from paying these fixed costs.

    The ‘Statement of support for small businesses’ will:

    • report on whether Landowners are actively find ways to support and maintain small, independent businesses in properties and not creating the easy default position of placing a big chain ‘anchor tenant’ into a commercial space.
    • Provide accountability that they are being open and transparent about rent free, discount periods when negotiating with tenants