This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.
We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to for a RENT MORATORIUM at the extraordinary time of national public health and economic crisis. More details
1 Church Street NW8 is a culturally diverse vibrant world crossroads reflected by a unique local economy with a dynamic diversity of shops, both providing essential goods and services to a high density local population in the tens of thousands, and a community of over one hundred antiques, art and design businesses established over nearly half a century that has built an international reputation and draws footfall from London, the UK and from around the world,
2 Without footfall at this difficult time our shops have less value than storage units for holding stock. A lack of online customer spend due to present factors, has made utility and value of shops moot. Revenues are failing to support rents and premises are becoming a liability, leading to staff lay-offs, negative cashflow and the rising probability of insolvencies.
3 Property survey principles and financial models on which shop rents are based have ceased to be valid at this time.
4 With PHE advice to keep “social” distances, information that the virus can live in the wild for days, and that people can be infective prior to symptoms, customer footfall is between 90% and 100% down.
5 With or without lockdown, the current lack of shop revenues may not support rent payments and other liabilities.
6 Retailers propose a rent moratorium at this time, to ensure the continuity of tenancies into a period of recovery and commercial viability.
7 It is understood that WCC assets has a lawful duty as part of a public body responsible to taxpayers, to maintain the value of commercial rents, and that abatement of rents in Church Street sets a problematic precedent with implications across the whole WCC property portfolio, therefore it is proposed that a relatively short and reviewable period be adopted for a moratorium.
8 It is hoped that the peak of the present pandemic will be within a few months and the economic impact will soften thereafter.
9 We ask that an immediate responsible choice be made by WCC assets that will support the business by granting a radical concession on rents appropriate in a period of national emergency, or be abettors of their destruction. REQUEST
With a view to aiding the survival of our businesses, we petition Westminster City Council to accept a moratorium on rents for their commercial retail tenants in the Church Street Ward for a period of three months from the beginning of April 2020 to the 1st of July 2020, with a review at the end of the period aimed at adjustment based on circumstances at the time.