Leading British retailers have joined forces to call for an overhaul of rental payment conditions as the high street slowdown intensifies.

Argos, Next, Carphone Warehouse Boots and DSG are among a coalition of more than 15 retailers demanding from landlords the right to pay rent in smaller, more frequent, instalments.

Major landlords, including property groups Land Securities and British Land, will fight the campaign, underlining the legally-binding leases that stipulate rental payments must be made quarterly.

The retailers, understood to pay a combined annual rental bill of about £2bn, are expected to say they will only pay rent in advance every month, rejecting the current system of quarterly rental payments made in advance.

Pensions funds including Legal & General are also among the landlords likely to resist the demands.

The quarterly rental bills have a significant impact on retailers’ cash flow and have increasingly become a point of contention as the credit crisis has spilled into the wider economy.

Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times