Cheap rent boon for charity shops

Costs fall as landlords attempt to fill vacant premises

Charities that run shops are benefiting from reduced rents on high-street commercial property as landlords try to fill premises made vacant in the recession.

Trevor Caffull, managing director of the Salvation Army Trading Company, said it would open a significant number of new shops this year.

"There are opportunities in retail locations we would not have considered in the past because of prohibitive costs or restrictive tenancy arrangements," he said.

Ken Blair, head of the British Heart Foundation's shops division, said: "The commercial sector is having a tough time and charity shops can benefit."

But Jamie Huard, a solicitor at law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite, warned: "Landlords get the rent and rates off their hands by passing the costs to charity shops. But cheap rents are often on short leases that can be terminated with little notice."

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