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NHS landlords slap down multiples' health centre rent reduction pleas

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has decided not to grant rent reductions to Lloydspharmacy and Rowlands, following the outcome of their rent reviews, C+D has learned. 

In 2020, both multiples independently asked for a review of the rent they paid for their branches based at health centres.

At the time, Lloydspharmacy asked its health centre landlords, including NHSPS, for a 25% rent reduction in recognition of “COVID-19 related costs and reduced footfall”, which it claimed NHSPS was “refusing to recognise”.

Read more: Lloyds seeks rent discounts after 99 branch closures in 12 months


However, an NHSPS spokesperson confirmed this week that it had concluded the review of the sites rented by Lloydspharmacy and that no rent reductions had been offered.

However, NHSPS will consider the rents again when the next reviews are due, the spokesperson added.

Responding to the review, a spokesperson for Lloydspharmacy told C+D today* (April 27) that the “increasing financial pressures” faced by the sector was “the driving factor in our call for reviews to our rent”.

They added: “The lack of flexibility shown by NHSPS is unreasonable and we’re disappointed by their lack of understanding, especially when compared with many other landlords who have been supportive and helped us to maintain a sustainable pharmacy network.”

Meanwhile, the review of the premises rented by Rowlands has also concluded and no rent reductions were offered “in this instance”, the NHSPS told C+D.

A spokesperson for Rowlands told C+D yesterday (April 25) that the multiple was not able to provide a statement following the news.

In 2020, Rowlands told C+D it was in “ongoing” and “commercially confidential” discussions with NHSPS to negotiate rent reductions. It argued at the time that a “review of health centre rentals is long overdue”, and that rents need to reflect “the reality of current circumstances”.


Read more: Rowlands asks for rent drops while AIMp reports ‘exorbitant’ increases


Rent reviews are undertaken “in line with lease agreements”, a spokesperson for NHSPS added, while “these can vary in frequency from annual reviews to once every five years”.

No other multiples are currently in discussion with NHSPS regarding rent reductions, the spokesperson confirmed.



* This article was updated on April 27, 2022, following a response from Lloydspharmacy 

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