It was hard to see through certain places, we all have that, it is not because we do not understand it. It is because the field is larger and has a few uneven spots that tend to make the situation quirky. I have been keeping my eyes on the UK for a few reasons, in the first (the selfish part) is set on an apartment and the need for either Jeff Bezos (or Sergey Brin) to wake up and take notice. The second side is that I have been to London plenty of times, as such I am not unfamiliar with the area. So today I took notice of ‘British retail faces “tsunami of closures” without rent help’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-retail-rents/british-retail-faces-tsunami-of-closures-without-rent-help-idUSKCN2DA0IQ). The article makes sense and there is nothing against the article. Yet consider “The BRC’s survey found 80% of tenants said some landlords have given them less than a year to pay back rent arrears”. When you see this you want to be nasty to these evil landlords and that makes sense, but the stage is actually a lot worse. You see, shops in the city ‘hide’ behind ‘price on application’, the insanity of rental prices is to be voided at all cost, yet at the same time, I have seen annual rental prices of £1,600,000 that is well over £100,000 a month and that is merely the rent, now consider that this have been going on for YEARS. Does it even pay to have a shop in London?
So when we now consider “With this in place, all parties can work on a sustainable long-term solution, one that shares the pain wrought by the pandemic more equally between landlords and tenants”, the words given to us by Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC (British Retail Consortium). Yes, I agree, she is right, but as I see it this should have been a political hot potato for well over 10 years. As rental prices spiralled, the landlords were given pass after pass, the rest either pay up or get lost. Yet the larger station is not that rent are out of control, life in London is only affordable to the top 7% income earners making it realistic that London will shrink to a population of 4.7 million soon enough and a lot of those are all over the planet at leat 50% of the time. When you consider these numbers, do you have any idea what happens to London? If London relies on 2 million people who have a global stage of spending, how long until the infrastructure of London implodes? As I personally see it, the problem was a larger stage from long before the pandemic. I saw places in London, shops where I had no clue how they were affording it, but they were there. It was as I personally saw it almost a legalised insurance scam where the tenant signed a lease that was approved by a bank, insured against bd weather, all whilst the numbers and the prices would never ever make sense. That shop should not be where it was, yet it was. I noticed it in 1997, in 1999 and in 2002. Yet the papers and the people were not asking questions, why was that? In one setting we see Matthew Carmona give us in 1997 ‘Policy is blind to their huge strategic and sustainable growth potential’, yet it is only one setting and it only works when everyone plays the rules straight, in the current setting it is a seesaw that has its axial point on one third and the short part is where the shopkeeper sits, the long end is for the landlord or the investment firm holding ownership of the building. As such the landlord needs merely 1/3 of its weight to stay ahead of the tenant, as such we could see that the rent is only for the really fat cat. So even if we agree on “if the government does not extend a moratorium on aggressive debt enforcement”, the stage is not ‘aggressive debt enforcement’, it is the setting that the seesaw is openly unbalanced and as I see it the players (banks and landlords) need to be investigated to the game that is being played and in all this the tenant has no option but to try and hope that his or her golden idea plays off. It is a game of legalised exploitation and politicians and policymakers are optionally wearing really dark glasses so that they might not notice what is going on. A stage where the people talk about ‘sustainable growth potential’, yet in actuality they are saying ‘growth potential: sustainability be damned!’ And now as we see (due to something really unforeseen) the dam breaking under the colossal debts, we will get to see more than a larger tsunami of closures, when this happens the insurance people want their day in court, the hedge funds want their losses covered and optionally the landlords too, but the tenant, he or she is royally screwed.
We understand that there is a need for rent help, yet at what stage is there a need to cover investments? What is investment without risk that can be held against the investor? It is the premise of a nanny state for the really rich, who signed up for that part?