INDORE: A slump in sales post outbreak of Covid-19 and high rentals have led many retail stores and food joints to vacate commercial spaces to save on mounting liabilities that run in lakh per month.

While many franchise owned businesses mostly into the financial sector have terminated the rental contract in between amid a decline in business, the demand for rent cut has increased from occupiers of the commercial spaces, claimed real estate agents and owners of commercial spaces.

A real estate consultant Vinod Verma said, “Demand for commercial spaces has taken a sharp hit. Retailers are increasingly vacating spaces because they do not have much business left to afford such high rents. Finding new customers for premium rental property have also become a challenge.”

Rental for commercial spaces in Indore varies from Rs 150-Rs 250 per sq ft depending upon the area, said six real estate consultants mostly handling commercial properties. They said many food joints including ice cream parlours, restaurants, café’s and financial consultants, retailers of garments have vacated shops.

Manoj Chandani, a property consultant said, “Shops owners are not able to afford rents. Big brands or chains are not affected much but small players are the worst hit post COVID19. Enquiries from owners of commercial spaces have increased these days as even they could not afford to keep the place vacant for months.”

Many retails and offices have chosen to shift to areas with lower rentals as employees continue to operate from home.

Aniruddha Agrawal, a real estate consultant said, “People are trying to save on the running expenses and looking for better deals. Many are opting for lower rental properties. Rental negotiations are everywhere these days.”

Amid a rise in demand for reduction in rentals, many owners of commercial spaces has either deferred rents for 2-3 months while a few have cut down rents by 20 -30 per cent, claimed respondents.

Rajkumar Sharma, owner of a commercial complex at Jail road said, “The owners of commercial properties of our areas have deferred the rent for 3 months while those who could not afford the waiver have cut down rent. This arrangement is done taking in confidence the tenants so as to run business smoothly in these difficult times.”



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