Retail Cos and Multiplex owners asks waiver of rent for lockdown period

New Delhi, Apr 3 (PTI) Several retail companies and multiplexes operating in large premises and malls are seeking a waiver and negotiating rentals as their businesses are severely hit by the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Several real estate firms and mall owners have also confirmed receiving requests from retail companies operating from their premises to negotiate the rentals in such difficult times.

Their respective organisations, Retailers Association of India and Multiplex Association of India have also already raised the issue regarding the difficulties and challenges ahead once the 21-day long lockdown is lifted on April 14.

"We have received letters and emails from almost all retailers to not bill for the month of April. This is very normal as how to bill the space, when someone is not using the space," Select CityWalk CEO & Executive Director Yogeshwar Sharma told PTI.

However, he also added that at the same time, mall owners have also not got any benefit as "expenses as salaries, maintenance etc are running. It's a tough situation."

When asked if the rental waiver request would be considered, Sharma said, "No one knows how long this would continue. There is no clarity on the issue as to whether all malls and cinemas would be allowed to operate or not. It would be premature to say anything about."

The real estate firms and mall owners have already received rentals for March, as they get rent in advance for the month.

Mukta Arts, which runs multiplex chain under the brand name 'Mukta A2 Cinemas' said that it is in discussion with mall owners over the unprecedented situation.

"We are certainly in discussions with all our partners about how we can best handle the situation in a difficult time for everyone. Our agreements do provide for Force Majure and we are considering every option," Mukta Arts MD Rahul Puri said.