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Apr 15, 2010

Why is rent paid on quarter days??


I was chatting to Ian Coull Chief Executive of SEGRO today about the need for the property industry to shift a gear or two. The conversation covered lots of topics but a key insight for me was his remark that some of today’s leasing practices are 600 years old!

Ian was referring to the ancient practice of charging rents in advance on quarter days. For those not familiar with UK leasing practices these dates are:

25 March – otherwise known as Lady Day
24 June – Midsummer Day
29 September – Michaelmas
25 December – Christmas Day

I have always wondered why this practice came into being and there is a lot of history available on the web that provides the background. Why the strange dates and why pay in advance for three months?

As a consumer of real estate I see many areas of opportunity for the industry to up its game but if we continue to hold on to archaic practices such as this there is little prospect of truly moving into the 21st Century!

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