Nearly 60% of West End shop rents left unpaid, says major London landlord

Shaftesbury says 20% of flats vacant as Covid-19 prompts professionals to leave capital and international students to stay home

Shaftesbury, one of the biggest landlords in central London, said struggling high street businesses had paid less than half of the rent due since March, while a flight from the capital had left it with a glut of empty flats on its hands.

The property firm, which owns swathes of fashionable districts including Soho and Covent Garden, said only 41% of the rent for the six months to 30 September had come in. It is also struggling to relet flats, which were once sought-after bases for international students and young professionals, with a fifth of its 662 apartments currently lying empty.

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