- Business

The Portman Estate offers rental help to Marylebone retailers

The Portman Estate has joined the list of London landlords offering rent holidays to retailers and restaurant owners that are desperately trying to conserve cash.

Since last month when numerous businesses were forced to close sites due to Covid-19, tenants across London have been trying to negotiate new rent deals with landlords to reflect that they have no, or substantially less, trade.

Oliver Fenn-Smith, chief executive of The Portman Estate, which has a property empire across 110 acres of Marylebone, said the firm is in close contact with nearly 200 retailers, restaurants, bars and leisure businesses.

The company will offer tenants that have been hurt by government-enforced closures three months where they will pay no rent. Those rent holidays are for the quarterly bills that were due last month or the one expected in June.

Fenn-Smith said: “Our focus is on helping to alleviate their immediate cash flow concerns.”

He added: “We are continuing to assess the ongoing situation and are in touch with each individual business to work through this difficult time together.”

The Portman Estate is one of the capital’s “Great Estates” that have owned much of central London for centuries.

There have been different landlord approaches since the coronavirus outbreak, with some building owners offering rent holidays or reductions, and others threatening legal action if rent is withheld.