ECONOMY

Rental exemption may stretch to June

Tens of thousands of landlords have failed to submit their bank details

rental-exemption-may-stretch-to-june

The Finance Ministry is considering the extension for another month of the rental payment exemption for enterprises still locked down by the state. Sources say it is particularly likely that in June companies operating gyms, children’s playgrounds and even some food service outlets (that cannot open for lack of outdoor spaces) may not have to pay rent either.

The final decisions are expected next week, and it is quite possible this will also apply to sections of retail commerce, although data show that this market is picking up again.

A government source says Athens still has the option of rental cuts, meaning that in some sectors the rent may not drop down to zero but be cut by 40% if certain conditions are fulfilled. The same source points out that the May figures – especially online transactions – will show which sectors still need support from the state. The April data have actually revealed a 20% increase in online transactions across the economy, and the early signs this month point to a greater rise in transactions.

In the meantime, many tenants who do not deserve a rental cut for May have yet to pay their rent for this month, claiming they will wait for the Finance Ministry’s decision to see if their activity code number (KAD) is among the sectors to benefit.

According to what the ministry has announced for this month, the rental exemption only concerns enterprises in the sectors of retail commerce, food service, culture, sports, tourism, transport and some others that are still under various restrictions.

The 40% rent reduction currently only applies to the main residence of workers who are on furlough this month, as well as the residence of any students dependent on them. That means there is no 40% rental cut for the companies that are among the affected KAD numbers but have not had to stop operating, so they must pay their May rent in full as their contract dictates.

As for the landlords affected, they are due another compensation payment by the ministry this Friday. However, there are still some 26,500 landlords that risk missing out due to failing to submit their bank details. They have just a couple of days to inform the ministry of their IBAN number.