LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Subway caught in rent dispute with franchisees' landlords

Landlords claim the chain is exploiting the ban on evictions.

Subway is caught in a rent dispute with a group of landlords of its UK franchisees, Bloomberg has reported.

Landlords claim Subway Realty Ltd. is exploiting the ban on evictions by holding the rent from franchisees during the coronavirus crisis, knowing it cannot be pursued.

The government extended the measure to help small businesses that cannot afford rent, whilst urging those that can to pay up.

“Subway is fully aware that no action can be taken against them because of the moratorium on commercial tenant evictions, even though the moratorium is intended to protect those tenants who really do need help and can’t pay their rent,” said Adam Coffer, chairman of the Property Owners Forum, a group that represents more than 100 independent landlords, including some who claim that they are owed rent by the sandwich chain.

A Subway spokesperson told Bloomberg that only “some landlords” had been paid, though “declined to specify for what time period or respond directly to the allegations regarding the eviction ban.”

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