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Could Rising Rent Prices Force Out SMEs?

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Rising rent prices are increasing at a pace we haven’t seen in over a decade.

The high rent costs could become unsustainable for small businesses with bricks-and-mortar stores or offices in London and other major cities.

As lockdown ends and businesses reopen in densely populated areas, people are looking to move out of properties they were trapped in for a year and start afresh in cities that are getting back to normal. However, the rising rent prices could easily impact commercial spaces. Small businesses could be forced out of their retail or office locations if the growing rent prices become unaffordable.

It is not only the capital seeing a significant increase in rent prices. The entire UK is facing rising rent, with the South West seeing an increase of 9% and the East Midlands rent market price growing by 6.9%. if commercial landlords do take advantage of the inflation, we could see the impact reflecting negatively on our high-streets as SMEs struggle to keep a hold of in-person shops or community spaces. Even with online campaigns like “shop small” and “buy local”, small-to-medium-sized businesses still reeling from the destructive impact of the pandemic are now contending with potential hardships, both in terms of higher rent and the potential difficulty with the planned wage increase next year.

However, businesses can contest rent increases. You can privately compromise with your landlord, outlining your budget and explaining why you might not be able to afford the increase they are implementing. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can bring in a third party professional to settle the dispute by making a final decision on behalf of yourself and the landlord. An independent consultant can be introduced by both parties to consider the situation and the disagreement before making a decision that takes into account the renters financial position and the landlord’s income expectations. If you still aren’t satisfied by the decision made, you can appeal in court, but both options are expensive.

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