Shopping centres need “empathy” for tenants, says SCCA

The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) has expressed disappointment and frustration that some of its members have not shown the “empathy” requested during the coronavirus crisis.

The SCCA says it has urged commercial and retail landlords not to terminate business leases for the non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 outbreak.

But some shopping centre owners have not followed the council’s recommendation, which is to “engage with the empathy that is required during these trying times”, according to SCCA chair Peter Allen.

Shopping centres need empathy for their tenants in this crisis

“This is surprising, and if correct, very disappointing and frustrating to hear,” he said.

Allen acknowledged that landlords have a role to play in helping retailers, especially small and medium-sized businesses, get through the current crisis, and said the SCCA is working with the Federal Government on a range of measures.

According to reports, the Morrison government is currently considering putting a “freeze” on retail overheads, including rent, to help businesses ­stay afloat.

Inside Retail understands a rent “freeze” is not likely, but some form of support for domestic and commercial rents is under discussion. I

The SCCA has been contacted and asked if its members have agreed to the no lease terminations agreement. But as of the writing of this article, Inside Retail has not yet received a reply.