04 September 2020
Businesses operating from properties owned by the Government of Jersey are being given additional support to reduce the risk of their insolvency as a consequence of COVID-19.
During the pandemic, Government has offered all its business tenants a rent deferral. Under the new Government as Landlord Policy, alternative concessions such as rent holidays and early lease terminations will also be considered.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said: “Deferring rent is not always the best long-term solution; for businesses which still have virtually no income, it merely compounds their debt.
“Government’s new policy enables us to provide support which is based on a tenant’s individual circumstances. The deferred rent will remain repayable for the time being but, for tenants who demonstrate that they’re being severely affected by COVID-19 trading restrictions, may be offered a partial or even complete rent waiver, and a revised tenancy agreement.
“We want to help Jersey businesses to continue to trade, and charging less rent is preferable to losing a tenant and a Jersey company.”
Under the new policy, Government has adopted the framework for renegotiating lease terms set out in The Guidance for Commercial Landlords and Tenants. Jersey Business will support a business tenant to collate the necessary information that will enable them to put their case to Government.
Deputy Lewis said: “I would urge the private sector to follow Government and adopt the framework.
“Jersey Business will provide free and confidential advice to businesses that need to renegotiate their rents or would like to review their financial position and cash flow.
“Tenants and landlords should consider their current and forecast cash flows, and act reasonably and transparently. Tenants should think about what they can offer their landlords, while being aware that their landlords are also likely to have their own financial commitments.”
Guidance and templates for renegotiating tenancy agreements are available from Jersey Business.