UAE’s ENBD REIT announces rent relief measures to aid tenants

ENBD REIT would require tenants to provide requisite documents for it to extend adequate rental relief

Image Courtesy: ENBD REIT website

ENBD REIT, the Shari’a compliant real estate investment trust managed by Emirates NBD Asset Management Limited, has launched a relief initiative for tenants severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The initiative, targeting tenants in genuine need of relief, includes rent free periods, postponement of cheques or rescheduling rental payment plans, depending on their financial situation.

Anthony Taylor, head of real estate at Emirates NBD Asset Management, said: “Our priority right now is identifying those in genuine need of financial assistance to weather the sustained impact of Covid-19 across businesses in Dubai. While we are in a strong financial position having met our objectives to build resilience into the portfolio, we are not in a position to offer blanket relief to all tenants.

“If ENBD REIT were to share the cost savings it has achieved with all tenants equally, it would be a reasonably small percentage reduction and immaterial to any one tenant facing significant financial challenges. For this reason, we assess the financial position of each tenant who is requesting relief before agreeing to a rental payment structure that meets their requirements.”

ENBD REIT would require tenants to provide requisite documents for it to extend adequate rental relief.

For businesses, including office and alternative tenants, this includes:

· Trading figures for the last 12 months, demonstrating the impact of Covid-19 on revenue
· Bank account statements for the last 12-month period
· Evidence of ongoing fixed costs, including a detailed breakdown with supporting documentation
· Audited financial information for the past three years

For individuals, including residential tenants, the following is required:

· Documentation demonstrating loss of income, such as a salary reduction or termination letter from their employer
· Bank account statements for the last 12-month period

“No sector in the region is unaffected by the pandemic. We want to focus on the tenants who are in critical need of our support, identifying them as soon as possible to create solutions that will have a tangible impact. Our intention is to build long-term relationships with our tenants, rather than see them vacate our assets in the case of business closure, because in current market conditions, occupancy and rental income are a top priority. Our approach will help tenants to keep their business viable, while affording REIT the opportunity to realise sustained rental income during the coming months,” said Taylor.

By granting tenants the opportunity to renegotiate or postpone payments, the company expects to sustain and encourage longer lease agreements in the medium- to long-term.

Simultaneously, ENBD REIT is also taking advantage of a lower interest rate environment to fix future financing agreements at lowest possible costs, better positioning it to support tenants throughout the current crisis.