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Sheffield’s tailored approach to rent relief

The City Council will be taking into account the capabilities and circumstances of businesses and other tenants when it comes to rent relief

  • April 05, 2020 20:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium sheffield town hall
Source: Sheffield Town Hall St BC (CC BY 3.0)

Cities across Europe have been suspending rent payments for tenants occupying municipal properties due to the coronavirus outbreak. Many businesses and private citizens have been deprived of their only sources of income due to the various government-imposed lockdowns and local authorities are doing their best at making the lives of their constituents easier and more bearable in these trying times.

The city of Sheffield is no exception. Earlier this week, the Sheffield City Council unveiled its approach to rent in the Sheffield Coronavirus Act 2020 where it has laid out a tailored approach that aims to take into account the individual and unique circumstances of businesses and citizens operating and living on Council property when considering rent relief.

A plethora of approaches to many cases

The Sheffield City Council realizes that the restrictions of public life imposed by the United Kingdom’s government are having a severe negative impact on the livelihood on many citizens, yet it also takes into account that some businesses are greatly benefitting from the sudden change in circumstances. That is why it has developed many approaches to the different potential cases of those making use of municipal property.

For example – community and voluntary groups will have their rent payments entirely suspended until 30 June and the City Council will refund all licensing fees that have already been purchased.

Meanwhile, commercial retail, food and beverage and leisure businesses will have their rents deferred until 30 June with the possibility of different arrangements that will be decided on an individual basis. Industrial, office and workshop tenants will also have their rent payments deferred and will be paid over an agreed-upon period of time.

Councillor Terry Fox, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance at Sheffield City Council stated that “This is a difficult and uncertain time for many people in Sheffield and it’s important that everyone’s focus during this time is on staying well, not worrying about paying the rent on their business premises. We want to support all of our tenants as much as we can and therefore will not penalise anyone who is unable to make payments over the next few months.”

The Sheffield City Council is adamant that each case will be assessed on an individual basis as everyone’s story and circumstances are different and there can be no cure-all approach.

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