Savona – The pangs of the financial crisis were not enough; it took the blow of Covid to begin to stir the waters of commercial rents, with the effect of a growing phenomenon of downward renegotiation of rents. The owners, willy-nilly, have understood or are understanding that if the demands on the landlords are not lowered a little, you risk being left with the empty property, which not only does not pay, but rather costs in terms of maintenance, fixed expenses and above all taxes and duties. A trend that is consolidated in the Savona area, albeit slowly and with some rigidity.
The problem of contracts
The high rents are also linked to the nature of commercial leases which normally last six years plus six: a long and inflexible period of time. The economic crisis had already started a tug-of-war between owners and landlords before Covid, with the latter seeking more advantageous agreements and avoiding collapse. “Lately we have seen some results – he says Giancarlo Cerisola, president of Confesercenti Savona – However, with few exceptions, the contracts are not reviewed and restarted, as would be desirable by the trader, but are renegotiated only for a fixed period, usually 12 months, with the commitment then to resume the old rent ». The same results to Giuseppe Testa, president of the Savona accountants: “It is a simple procedure, which takes place through the Revenue Agency and which, at least for what I understand, is not rarely proposed by the owners themselves even before of the tenants “. What it happens much less frequentlyon the other hand, it is precisely the negotiation from scratch of the fees: “But I personally believe that it will become a standard formula, provided that the conditions of the general economy will not change radically”, adds Testa.
Discounts from 20 to 40%
The value of the discount, albeit temporary, it is not just symbolic: «Our associates also have 40% reductions in rent – says Fabio Becchi, provincial president of Fiaip real estate agents – But a lot depends on the parties». «What matters – adds Testa – Lower rents, for example around 7-800 euros per month, they can hardly go down by hundreds of euros because there is always a hard core of taxes and fees that the owner wants to cover. On higher rents, however, there is more room for maneuver: I have seen rents of 1,500 euros go down to 1,100 ”.
An established trend though it does not mean that everything is solved, rather. “There are merchants who do not even try to ask for a discount, but decide to close and just to avoid a bloodbath and save what can be saved – says Becchi – But also some owners who, fed up with problems and uncertainties, try to get rid of the property, although aware of a falling real estate market, to invest elsewhere ». «It is then clear that the reduction of the rent occurs only when the relationship between landlord and tenant is good – explains Testa – And this is not always the case. In those cases, it is difficult to find reasonable solutions ».
There are many as testimony abandoned business premises in the most prestigious areas of the capital, between via Paleocapa and via Pia. “There are now at least twenty – concludes Cerisola – Let’s just hope they don’t become more numerous”.
What is certainly lacking in the tendency to calm commercial fees is a public direction, which puts the main representatives of the category around a table to find shared models and solutions. The municipal administration of Savona, now more than a year and a half ago, he had started a confrontation where he had hypothesized the start of a dialogue between traders and owners of the premises. The intention of the councilor for Commerce Maria Zunato was to identify measures and forms of mediation that would allow tenants to reduce the monthly fee, in some cases, today, decidedly high and out of the market. Nothing, however, has been done anymore. Determining, even in the face of the dramatic economic crisis, a succession of closures of commercial activities.
Now, according to Zunato, something is moving. «It is under joint examination by the directors involved – he said – request received from Confesercenti and by other subjects on the subject. Within ten days we will announce the decisions taken in favor of the commercial sector ».