Companies ask for rent deferrals at Workspace

middlesborough campus

The largest provider of serviced office space in London said yesterday that it had collected only 50 per cent of the rents it was due at the end of March.

Workspace Group, which caters to more than 3,000 business, said that it was having discussions about rent deferrals with its customers on a case-by-case basis.

“We have received a large number of requests for various forms of rent relief for the duration of the current government restrictions on movement,” the company said. “Accordingly, we expect a significantly lower level of cash rental income in the short term.”

Workspace has 19 locations in London. It differs from other serviced office operators, such as Wework, because it owns the freeholds on all of its buildings.

It said that it was in a strong financial position, with about £70 million cash and £96 million in undrawn revolving credit facilities, with good headroom on covenants.

Graham Clemett, 59, chief executive, said: “We recognise that our continued success depends on the ability of customers to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in good financial shape and we are working with them to achieve this.”

Before yesterday, shares in Workspace had fallen by about 30 per cent since the start of March, but they rose by 10.7 per cent, or 72½p, to 752p last night. The company is considering whether to recommend a final dividend and will update the market alongside its preliminary results in June.