Landlords and operators have come together in a joint call for a government backed ‘property bounceback grant’ to facilitate in rent negotiations.

The proposal, put together by The British Property Federation (BPF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Revo, Uk Active and UK Hospitality, would see Government issue grants of up to 50% of rent and service charges between March and September.

Grants would be conditional on an agreement by the landlord and tenant to account for the remaining 50% of the rent and service charges through the government’s code of practice, and would focus on those businesses that were closed for the longest time and unable to generate revenue.

Analysis commissioned by the five trade bodies found that if government support covered 50% of unpaid rents across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for six months – costing £1.75bn – the total return to the Treasury in terms of tax revenue from economic activity would be almost £7bn, and 375,000 jobs would be saved – a return on investment of almost 400%.

If rent support were extended to cover businesses that had already reached rent payment agreements, the cost would rise to £4.7bn, with a total return of over £11bn to the UK economy, preventing the loss of over 630,000 jobs.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “Many retail, leisure and hospitality businesses across the UK have been closed for months. Even where they have reopened, footfall remains down significantly on pre-coronavirus levels. Similarly, landlords have been walking a tightrope to support their customers and protect the pensions and savings of millions of people invested in commercial property across the country.

“Without urgent action on rents, many otherwise viable businesses are, through no fault of their own, at imminent risk of failure. Where both landlord and tenant are able to cover at least 50% of the rent owed, and are able to demonstrate they are working together as economic partners, government should have the confidence to invest in these businesses’ futures and prevent the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”