Hardware chain Robert Dyas is in negotiations with its landlords about switching to monthly rents to cope with the tough retail conditions.

It has appointed Knight Frank to lead the negotiations with landlords on a group-wide basis.

The chain has approximately 100 stores across the south of England.

Robert Dyas follows retailers including DIY chain Focus, advised by Harvey Spack Field, in looking to ease its rental burden as the entire retail sector faces difficult trading conditions as the recession deepens.

It may also negotiate rent reductions or seek other solutions on individual stores in its portfolio where appropriate.

It is thought that the rent negotiations are a long term solution for the retailer, although the pressure of the upcoming quarter day for rent on 25 March has also had an impact on the timing of the negotiations.

Robert Dyas and Knight Frank declined to comment.