Are your clients taking their time in settling your invoices? Well then, developers and agents alike may want to take a look at Experian's Late Payment Survey. The Nottingham-based information services company has just released Q3 figures and landlords may want a copy to hand when considering tenants for their buildings.
Most saintly in the survey are companies in the 'agriculture, fisheries and forestry' sector, who tend to settle up 10 days late. Not an area of huge occupational demand, it has to be said. More relevant, especially for those with an interest in retail property, is that 'spirits, wine & tobacco' and 'pharmaceuticals' companies are better payers (15-17 days late) as are IT firms (18 days late). Sinners - and ones to definitely avoid - are businesses in the postal and telecoms sector, who take nearly 40 days beyond agreed payment terms to hand over what they owe.
Where companies are based also seems to have a bearing on how quickly they will pay up: look out for firms from the South West and the South East (17 and 18 days late, respectively) and give a wide berth to those from London and the North West (26 and 27 days late, respectively). Within the Midlands go for a business based in the East - they'll pay up 3 days faster than similar firms in the West (22 vs 25 days, respectively).
But above all - and here's the rub - avoid dealing with your peers. Property-related companies rank close to the the bottom of the list, taking over a month beyond agreed terms to settle their bills. You have been warned!
Pic courtesy of Spirit-Fire via Flickr.com