Covid-19 means many of the things we take for granted have had to change, and that includes the property industry.
We thought it might be useful to give you the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions to help ease you through the process:
Do I still have to pay my rent?
Yes. You are still be liable to pay rent as per the conditions set out by your lease. And, should you miss any payments, interest will accrue.
Can my Landlord evict me for non-payment of rent?
No. Under emergency legislation introduced by the government, landlords cannot evict a tenant for non-payment at any time between 25/03/20 to 30/06/2020, nor can they force a forfeiture of the lease.
What are my options if I need a rental holiday to help my business through the lockdown?
Contact us at C&W and we can review your situation and advise you on what the best course of action might be. If it’s appropriate, we can then ascertain whether the Landlord would be willing to offer you a rent free period in exchange for a restructuring of the lease.
Is Covid-19 a valid reason to terminate my lease?
In most cases, the answer is likely to be no.
Do you still need to pay business rates for offices?
Although a number of sectors, such as retail, are receiving rates relief, that does not currently include offices. However, the government is continually reviewing rates relief and we will keep you up to date with any changes.
How will the lockdown affect the running of my building and what does that mean for service charges?
Most Landlords are reviewing the management of unoccupied and partially occupied buildings. Changes under consideration include switching utilities to ‘weekend running’, introducing skeleton staff for front of house and security, as well as extra health and safety checks such as water testing. It is possible these measures will result in reduced service charges but figures may not finalised for another 3-6 months. Something else under consideration are service charge deferments. C&W can advise you whether that might apply to you and will assist in any subsequent dialogue with your Landlord.
I’m a serviced office user, can I request to stop making my payments?
You would need prior agreement with your service provider. Some are currently agreeing to requests for reductions in licence fees. To find out if that is possible in your case, please contact us at C&W.
How do I deal with a break or expiry during the lockdown?
In the current circumstances, access is restricted and moving premises is complicated. We would therefore suggest you contact your landlord as quickly as possible to discuss a mutually acceptable solution for either the short (or long) term.
Will my office be fit for purpose after the lockdown?
Social distancing is expected to continue for an extended period after the lockdown has ended. This may have implications for issues such as occupational density. If you want any advice on your workplace strategy moving forwards, please feel free to contact us.
With the situation continually changing, how do I keep up to date?
Either visit our Locate London website, which has all the latest news
Call us on 0203 296 2001
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org