Shopping centre landlords stunned by eviction freeze
Shopping centres have been rocked by the six-month freeze on evictions ordered by Scott Morrison on Sunday night.
Mall owners face another wave of store closures this week, with smaller retailers expected to follow the lead of major tenants, including Myer and South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings, which owns DJs and Country Road, which have already shut smaller fashion stores.
The closures, costing tens of thousands of jobs, come ahead of more announcements from state governments that have flagged further restrictions to prevent the coronavirus spreading.
Commercial landlords and tenants have been told to work out a solution for businesses that have closed or whose revenues have plunged so they can remain operational when the crisis is over.
The Property Council of Australia has called for a balanced solution for an industry in serious trouble. “The risk is landlords get squeezed like lemons with falling rents on one side and obligations to financiers on the other,” chief executive Ken Morrison says.
“If landlords are able to support their tenants in need, which they want to, then they are also going to need support,” he says.