Reitir, the largest rental property company in Iceland, will not be lowering the rent on their properties for the foreseeable future, RÚV reports. They have, however, allowed for delayed rent payments from companies who are struggling now in the midst of the corona crisis.
The matter gained pubic attention when Arnar Þór Gíslason, who owns a number of bars and clubs in downtown Reykjavík, criticised the rental companies, Reitir amongst them, for not lowering rents despite calls to do so from their tenants.
Reitir owns a great deal of property, comprising some 450,000 square metres. Guðjón Auðunsson, the director of Reitir, confirmed for reporters that this was indeed the company’s position.
“I don’t know what other rental companies are doing, but Reitir’s position has been to not lower rents nor give any discounts on rent while we make our way through the current situation,” he said. “But we have shown a fair understanding in delaying rent payments from those who have been experiencing a great drop in revenue, with the notion to review their status again in the late summer or autumn, and in good cooperation with the parties involved.”
According to a financial statement released by the company on April 22, the company describes their financial position as strong, with earnings of about 1.9 billion ISK for the first quarter of this year. The statement also says that about two-thirds of their rental clients paid their rent in April, amounting to about 770 million ISK.
Guðjón confirmed that many tenants have requested that their rents be lowered, but emphasised that for the time being, the company instead wants to see how or if the financial situation in Iceland changes in the months to come.
“We’ve decided to wait and see how things play out,” he said. “But we are of course aware that these are unusual circumstances, and they can change suddenly.”
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