Review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation to be launched

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced in December 2020 a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be launched in early 2021, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions. This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond. The review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be launched this year…

How to repossess your property from squatters

Squatters have been an inconvenience for landlords, both residential and commercial, for many years. Of course, in residential situations, a person trespassing, or squatting in a house is a criminal offence, and assistance from the police is common. In a commercial scenario, the situation is far more complex and time-consuming, with a squatter having to be evicted with assistance from the courts and with possession being enforced by County or High Court Enforcement Officers. Our Litigation department at Bowling & Co recently assisted a client to recover possession of their…

Landlords must gear up for new safety checks 

Residential landlords must get their house in order with the arrival of further legislation to protect tenants through electrical and building safety requirements. New electrical safety standards are rolling out for private sector tenancies and the other upcoming challenge for residential landlords is fire safety compliance for building structures.  Both safety aspects have been accelerated following tragic outcomes.  Electricity causes about half of the UK’s 37,000 house fires a year, according to the charity Electrical Safety First, and faulty electrics cause some 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries each year in…

Retail tenants should check the small print

As a fresh wave of lockdown measures cut across the UK, retail tenants may be experiencing new concerns about how to pay the rent, but another ticking timebomb is the viability of their landlords. Even before the pandemic, the high street was undergoing radical change and the continuing restrictions have seen a dramatic shift in consumer habits towards online shopping. Faced with such a shift towards e-commerce, few were surprised to see the recent demise of Intu, a large retail landlord with shopping centres that include the Trafford Centre in…

Property boom as home and overseas buyers rush to beat the deadline 

Property buyers are fighting off the pandemic to catch a new home before stamp duty goes back to its normal rate.  For overseas buyers, the race is even more important, as the rate will carry an additional surcharge for them from April. As part of the range of measures to provide economic support through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government introduced a temporary holiday for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £500,000 of purchases, but this will come to an end on 31 March 2021, when it will revert…

Lockdown 2 and home improvements: When do you need planning permission?

With recent announcements from both the UK and Scottish government about further lockdown restrictions, you might be planning to fill your time with some home improvements. At the time of writing, tradespeople are exempt from lockdown restrictions and may enter your home to carry out necessary repairs. However, you should be aware that certain modifications to your home and garden may require specific permissions. In this article, we look at where you can find the information you need and provide a brief guide to when you may and may not…

Tenants’ guide to commercial leases during a pandemic

Whilst various lockdown restrictions have been eased, others have only recently been introduced. This has led to a plethora of concerns with some commercial tenants now seeking clarity in respect of their position. Accordingly, we have put together a guide below to clarify some points commonly raised. What to do once your lease term ends? If you have decided to move on upon the end of your contractual term, then all you would need to do is simply move out. However, if recent events have resulted in indecision with your…

High Court – implications of lease terms when giving up a lease

In a case at the High Court on the 23rd September 2020, the High Court examined how a clause in the lease about returning the property to the landlord at the end of the lease applied where asbestos was left buried across the site at the end of a lease. The tenant had appointed consultants to remove buildings from the site. The consultants' works in dismantling the buildings had disturbed asbestos-containing materials and spread them across the site. As with all such matters, the facts of the case were critical,…

What is a privacy policy and what should it contain?

Briefly, a Privacy Policy is a statement that specifies how a data controller collects, stores, processes the personal data provided by the users of a website. As required by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data controllers should provide certain information to individuals whose personal data is held and used for specific purposes. The definition of personal data includes names, addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, date of birth, and financial information, such as debit or credit card details. The GDPR emphasizes that you should be clear about how you…

COVID-19: New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

On 9 September 2020, Ministers announced new funding to support businesses that have been forced to close temporarily due to local COVID-19 related lockdowns. To be eligible for the grant, a business will have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions. Businesses still closed at a national level (e.g. nightclubs), will not be eligible for the scheme. Larger businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000. For this purpose, the level of support will be defined as follows: If…

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