Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 12:01 UK

Business 'needs flexible rents'

Guernsey market - St Peter Port
The number of empty commercial premises has reached 50

Commercial landlords on Guernsey are being told to be more realistic and flexible about the rent they charge during the economic downturn.

A survey, conducted by Deputy Mary Lowe, showed that 50 commercial buildings stood empty in St Peter Port.

The empty buildings arose from expensive rent and lack of floor space, the survey found.

A lack of suitably sized premises is also said to be deterring larger UK chains from opening shops on Guernsey.

David Falla, the head of the Chamber of Commerce's retail committee said: "St Peter Port does have a limit to the range of space available.

"I'm aware that there are national retailers who would like to be in Guernsey if they could find a suitable space.

"Without a doubt if there were better spaces available within the context of St Peter Port, there would be more tenants," he added.

Katherine Walter from Walter Property Limited said: "I don't want a rental void. It comes back to being flexible and helping your tenant.

"A lot of leases will have their rent reviewable on a market level and I would rather accept a more reasonable rent now in the hope that things will improve, and the tenant will be able to pay the market rent when the market gets better."

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