Covid 19: Restrictions and Solutions

From 29 March

Debt Squared Group will keep you updated with the changing UK property landscape, as the government phase back restrictions and as new legislation is introduced – We’ve Got You Covered!

CRAR

Restrictions on Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) which were due to end on 30 June have now been extended to 25 March 2022 for all commercial leases.

This amount has been increased several times and reaches 554 days' rent on 24 June 2021. This restriction will also apply until 25 March 2022.

SCAR

Yes, and exclusively from Debt Squared Group as a nonenforcement pre-legal debt recovery service. No Recovery – No Fee.

Forfeiture

Forfeiture of commercial leases – Section 82 Coronavirus Act 2020 currently prevents any forfeiture between 26 March 2020 and 30 June 2021, whether by proceedings or peaceable re-entry, of the vast majority of commercial leases for non-payment of any sums due under the lease. The government announced on 16 June that this is being extended until 25 March 2022.

Squatters

Yes, Practice Direction 51Z in the removal of Persons Unknown (Squatters).

Travellers

Yes, Common Law evictions remains enforceable for any persons who are unlawfully occupying private commercial land.

Sub-tenants

Where a tenant has sub-let its premises and the tenant is in arrears of rent under its lease, the CRAR procedure gives a superior landlord a right to serve a notice under section 81 of the Tribunal, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 upon its subtenant requiring the subtenant to pay its rent directly to the superior landlord rather than to its own landlord to the extent of the arrears due from the immediate tenant.

Former Tenants

Debt Squared pre-legal debt recovery for rent arrears and other sums due under the lease from former tenants and their guarantors. However, landlords must be aware of the controls and strict timescales on the use of this remedy imposed by the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (LTCA).

End-of-tenancy

Yes and exclusively from Debt Squared Group, smartPROP involves our team in making contact with a tenant prior to their occupancy ending (typically within 72 hrs). Our appointed account manager will arrange for a representative to meet the tenant on the lease termination date at the demise premises and undertake a property hand-back.

Statutory Demands & Winding-up

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act now prohibits the presentation of a winding-up petition based on an unsatisfied statutory demand served between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2021. It is also not possible under the Act to present a winding up petition between 27 April 2020 and 30 September 2021, unless it can be shown that coronavirus has not worsened the debtor's financial position or the debtor could not have paid its debts even if there had been no such worsening of its financial position.

The Debt Respite Scheme

Guidance comes into force on 4 May 2021.

Standard Breathing Space: A standard breathing space is available to anyone with problem debt. It gives them a 60-day moratorium from legal action being taken against them by creditors. During the 60-day period the person will benefit from a freeze on interest, charges, even contact and most enforcement action.

A Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space: A mental health crisis breathing space is only available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment and lasts as long as the treatment does, plus 30 days from the end of the treatment.

Business Health Check Reports

A flexible process conducted confidentially in which a trained neutral mediator activity assists people and/or organisations to work towards a negotiated agreement.

  • Strategy Consulting
  • Turnaround & restructuring
  • Funding
  • Accountable

Residential

The ban on evictions expired on 31 May, which, means landlords can now commence with residential evictions in England from 1 June. (Evictions in Wales are expected to be allowed from the end of June).

The Lord Chancellor said:

"In response to the improving public health situation, the government has announced that they do not intend to extend the legislative ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in England that is due to expire at the end of 31 May. As the ban on bailiff enforced evictions and many of the wider Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, they consider that it would be appropriate for the guidance asking enforcement agents not to enter residential properties to take control of goods also to be withdrawn at the end of 31 May."