Pub group Greene King has notified its tenants that it will postpone all rent, insurance, maintenance and service tariffs due to it for the foreseeable future.
The move follows the government's recommendation to the public to stay away from pubs, bars and restaurants, which has left many businesses facing the prospect of a complete drop off in revenue.
Pub Partners, which oversees Greene King's independent licensed venues sent an email to partners yesterday (17 March), seen by the Morning Advertiser. Managing director Wayne Shurvinton said: "As you would expect we have been working through the recent government advice to understand what this means for you, our customers and employees. While we await further advice from the government today we have taken the decision to delay the collection of rent and the associated charges of insurance, licensing and maintenance and service until further notice.
"Please rest assured these circumstances and the situation we all find ourselves in is being treated as our utmost priority. We know this is very unsettling and we are working closely with our industry trade bodies to seek the clarity we all need. I fully appreciate this is a worrying time, not just for business reasons but also for personal reasons, especially concerning the health and wellbeing of our family and friends. My thoughts are with you all at this time as we continue to review the support we're able to provide while this situation continues to evolve."
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality commended the move, she said: "Sensible move by Greene King - hope other landlords, pubco and commercial/institutional take a similar approach. Rent holidays will be critical at end of month."
Greene King was founded in 1799. It is the largest pub retailer and brewer and it employs around 38,000 people and has an estate of more than 3,000 pubs. It was sold for £4.6b to CK Asset Holdings in August last year.