Blog: COVID-19 – Advice for commercial landlords and tenants

In this article we provide advice for commercial landlords and tenants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected almost every industry in the UK, with many businesses experiencing a severe strain on their cashflow as a result. While commercial tenants may be struggling to pay rent in full and on a regular basis, their landlord could also be under pressure if they rely on these payments to maintain their own cashflow. Both parties to a commercial lease contract should understand how their liabilities and obligations have been affected by…

News: Stamp duty holiday extended until the end of June

What does it mean for you? In the Budget, today, the Chancellor has confirmed that the stamp duty holiday on properties priced up to £500,000 has been extended by three months until the end of June. In addition, the holiday will also apply to properties priced up to £250,000 until the end of September 2021! The extension provides relief for buyers who were unlikely to complete their transactions before the original March 31 deadline. With a tax cut now available for buyers until September, this should also help to ensure…

Blog: The beginning of the end of leasehold 

Leasehold property owners are set for important changes in the coming months. The Government is planning to grant new rights on lease extensions and ending ground rent, which signals the beginning of the end of leasehold and this form of ownership. The government has indicated there will be a shift to ‘commonhold’ on the horizon, but the benefits to householders are likely to take time to filter through. Nearly all flats and some houses in England and Wales are owned on a leasehold basis, giving the owner the right to…

The construction industry to adapt to be more energy efficient

Tony Chauhan, Property Partner at Bowling & Co Solicitors comments on the Government's response to the consultation on Future Homes Standard (FHS), and consults on Future Buildings Standard. He explains that "the changes are going to have a positive impact upon the environment and will require the construction industry to adapt to be more energy efficient in the way they build. This will mean more cost and careful planning for construction methods." Background: In October 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a consultation on the…

Long leases for London’s tenants

Sadiq Khan leads the way with long leases for London's tenants looking to get on the shared ownership property ladder. Affordable Housing Programme The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has outlined plans to sell shared ownership homes delivered as part of his new Affordable Housing Programme with long leases for London's tenants on a standard 999-year lease term. Sadiq is determined that London leads by example and sets the benchmark for higher standards for leaseholders across the UK.  The new expectation, which was set out in a letter written by…

Court rules in favour of business interruption insurance claims

  As coronavirus continues its freeze on normal life, with strict lockdown measures back in place, many businesses will have breathed a sigh of relief following a Supreme Court ruling (on Friday 15th January) confirming when business interruption insurance claims should be paid out during a pandemic. Lockdown and tier restrictions since March 2020 have seen many businesses temporarily closing down or making significant operational reductions for weeks or months at a time, resulting in huge damage to their operations and loss of income. Court rules in favour of business…

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…

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