Railway Stations: Business Premises

Department for Transport written question – answered on 21st July 2020.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to permit train operating companies to offer temporary rent reductions to concessions in railway stations in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

In accordance with Franchise Agreements, as varied by the Emergency Measures Agreements, Franchisees have responsibility to act at all times as Good and Efficient Operators. The Department has written to all train operating companies outlining that it is incumbent on them, as responsible commercial landlords, to actively consider any requests made for rent deferral or relief in accordance with the Good and Efficient Operator principle. We expect requests from tenants to be considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account whether the tenant has made all reasonable efforts to seek assistance from wider government support schemes before any rent relief is agreed.

Any rent relief arrangements should also be developed in line with the recently published Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic which provides guidance as to how landlords should be considering requests from commercial tenants during the current period.

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