As the huge gym companies David Lloyd and Puregym are finding out this week, it really doesn’t take a long time for things to take a turn for the worse.
We are just 3 weeks into the UK #lockdown and there are no signs of it ending any time soon, meaning the vast majority of commercial properties, up and down the country, are indefinitely closed for business.
Being closed for business means that there is absolutely no revenue coming in, as membership fees are cancelled and on site sales are lost altogether. Pubs, clubs, shops, gyms and other tenants face difficult times ahead, not least with what to do about their staff.
Taking gyms as the example, as many as 2,800 are at risk of permanent closure, with a staggering 100,000 jobs on the line.
Gym bosses are calling on the government that close the loopholes, as they see them, that allow landlords to take steps against them.
The rent on these properties still has to be paid, as we well know, and we are actively supporting commercial landlords at this time.
It is our job to steer them through the difficult conversations and unprecedented situations they find themselves in, helping them to make the right decisions at the right time, whilst staying fully compliant along the way.
Because we know that none of this is the tenants’ fault, and because we recognise the challenges they all face, we are offering advice and services to commercial landlords that are geared up to protect the interests of everyone going forward.
Right the way through until we are on the other side of this thing, whenever that may be.
The sooner the better of course!
We are unable to force closure at the minute, and for the foreseable, as the Government is likely to extend this period of protection for commercial tenants. The ban against the forfeiture of commercial leases, that was legislated in the Coronavirus Act, will inevitably go beyond the original date of 30th June 2020, unless the pandemic is brought well under control before then.
Whilst this may present challenges for landlords, not least in the form of a loss of income, we have to follow procedure and accept that this is for the best.
This doesn’t mean our hands are tied though…
We are still able to enforce Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) on behalf of landlords, taking control of goods on the premises, in open dialect with tenants, to ensure that the landlord Is given invaluable peace of mind.
We feel that measures such as this comply with The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s advice that landlords should “act in a socially responsible way”, and therefore would recommend that commercial landlords in this situation seriously consider proactive measures like this.
In due course, when the businesses reopen, we expect that they will once again be busy, and perfectly able to pay their rent.
An agreement will be drawn up concerning the repayment of the arrears, and hopefully, we can all move on in the same positive manner we did before this all started.
The maintenance of relationships is crucial to how everyone survives this pandemic.
Landlords, remember, these are generally good tenants who have found themselves in an incredibly difficult situation, that no one saw coming.
Rest assured though, if the tenants don’t want to maintain an open line of conversation, or are resistant in any way regarding TeamCES taking possession of goods, or indeed if there are any other reasons as to why the debt will not be settled, we still have other options available to us.
What we’re saying is simple…
This is a tough situation for everyone, landlords and tenants alike.
Conversation is vital, communication is key, and you can rely on #TeamCES to have your best interests at heart.
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