Commercial Rent Arrears
At SLC Solicitors, we appreciate that not all sites under management by our clients will be solely for residential property. As such, we have developed a team with specific skills to manage the recovery of rent and service charge arrears for commercial properties. Our team are highly knowledgeable on the different and varying legislation governing commercial lettings and are able to provide an in-depth, specialist service.
Our team keeps abreast of the latest updates to provide the best service for our clients, this paired with our close working relationships with enforcement agents enables the team to achieves a high success rate of recovery.
In April 2012 the Law of Distress changed to CRAR. Previously, the collection of commercial rent and service charge was allowed by way of seizing goods, providing it was reserved as rent under the lease, however this is now no longer the case.
The methods of exercising CRAR are extremely stringent and are often not viable for clients so we try, wherever possible, to suggest an effective alternative method of recovery.
For the new process to be valid there must be evidence of a written tenancy of a commercial property and you must only be attempting to recover rent owed in respect of those premises. You will not be able to recover service charges under the CRAR process regardless of whether they are reserved as rent under the lease or not.
Notice will need to be given to the tenant prior to an enforcement agent being instructed or any enforcement action is undertaken. Under the Law of Distress enforcement could be taken anytime between sunrise and sunset whereas now can only be taken between normal trading hours. In a large number of cases, we have found the tenant to take steps to ensure that no goods of value remain on the premises for when the enforcement agent arrives.
Since the introduction of CRAR we have, where possible, sought to recover commercial service charge for our clients by the issue of a Forfeiture Notice under s146 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1925. The threat of forfeiture is often enough to prompt rapid payment from the defaulting tenant, and if they still fail to make payment the process can be escalated by seeking a possession order. It is important to remember that whilst you are no longer able to seize goods in satisfaction of unpaid rent, it is still possible to forfeit the lease by peaceable re-entry where commercial rent is owed.
How SLC can assist
We are able to offer advice and assistance to all clients with respect to commercial matters. Our areas of expertise include but are not limited to;
- Re-entry of the premises
- Commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR)
- Commercial service charge recovery
- Forfeiture and Possession