Editor: The arrival of the Commercial Tenants Association (CTA) ‘banging on the doors’ of landlords it deems bad is welcome in that it reinforces the need for the often adversarial landlord and tenant approach to change.

Closed sign coronavirus

Source: Shutterstock/ Chansom Pantip

CTA founder Peter Bell says the language – and by extension perceptions – of both parties is outdated. Tenants shouldn’t be referred to as ‘occupiers’ but as customers, recognising the value they bring to landlords in rent and service charges. At Quintain, we’d go a step further and say tenants add significant value to the communities and places we are helping to shape.

It is the right time for new language across the sector. We call our retail and leisure brands at Wembley Park ‘partners’, as that’s what they are: partners in creating a neighbourhood where people want to spend time and money.

As Bell notes, turnover-based rents are a strong tool to ensure landlords have a vested interest in tenants’ success. They ensure a far more collaborative approach, allowing strategically managed destinations to assess what’s working well, provide support where needed either through the commercial partnership, marketing or consultation, and draft in the right commercial neighbours that bring complementary benefits.

But tenants should also embrace a new approach based on trust and the collective wellbeing of retail and leisure destinations everywhere. This would place landlords in a stronger position to support those who genuinely need it.

The pandemic has made it clear that improved collaboration will not only help bricks-and-mortar retail survive, but thrive. Both parties should work together for their mutual benefit and that of the people they serve.

Matt Slade, retail director, Quintain