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Clinton's creative approach to meet rent quarter fees.

Rent 'quarter day' on September 29 will be a worrying time for retailers according to a city insolvency expert.

In June a number of high profile retailers succumbed to the financial pressures and Mike Bennett at the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell said there could be similar issues this time around.

Mr Bennett said: "There is often much speculation concerning rent quarter days, but the events of the summer certainly showed what a huge impact they can actually have.

"Retail tenants keen to make the most of the lucrative Christmas market are desperate to ensure problems caused by September's rent payment don't cause their businesses to fail. Clinton Cards' request to the landlords of their 700 plus stores to pay two thirds of their September quarter payment two weeks early and the remaining one third, two weeks late is a good example of a tenant looking to work with a landlord for a deal that could be in the interests of both parties.

"Landlords will be keeping a close eye on developments, particularly in light of what happened with the administration of TJ Hughes.

"Administrators must pay rent as it falls due if they use the premises for the benefit of the creditors. However, in the case of TJ Hughes, which went into administration six days after the June quarter payment date, the administrators have argued that they don't have to pay rent until the September quarter payments fall due.

"The landlords argue that administrators shouldn't be able to avoid liability for rent by timing their appointment just after the quarterly rent falls due. Landlords are bracing themselves for whether anything similar happens in early October."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 29, 2011
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