Insights 🔎- A View From...
Insights - A View From Associate Partner Oli Williams
Our rent collection stats across our managed portfolio stand at 82% (as at 15th April) which compares well against other major landlords and agents. A high proportion of the remaining arrears sits in agreed arrangements for monthly rental concessions or rent deferments.
This is a long way from where the market was at this time last year entering the first lockdown, unaware of the impact it would have on business. The world has moved on significantly since then and the ongoing easing of the restrictions in line with the Government’s roadmap gives us cautious optimism that tenant’s will be able to meet future rent demands without ongoing assistance from Landlords.
The Government are currently considering how they exit the commercial rent moratorium and are seeking feedback on several options. The Government will rightly look to protect viable businesses and jobs but there needs to be a balance to ensure Landlords have some recourse to recover arrears. There remains a number of tenants who have used the moratorium to assist cash flow and have not paid rent and service charge.
They will now need to engage with Landlords if they want to reach an agreement before the expiry of the moratorium. We have found throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communication has been key and we are happy that we have engaged early and regularly to facilitate sensible agreements between our clients and their occupiers. These mutually acceptable agreements have allowed the occupiers to be in a position to continue to operate through lockdown or be on the front foot when restrictions allow their return. This has ultimately assisted the investment value of the property and protected the increasingly important Landlord and Tenant relationship for the future.
As well as rental discussions, we have continued to engage with occupiers to review service charge levels to ensure the services onsite are fit for purpose, restructured or in fact enhanced coming out of the other side. This level of engagement with occupiers and with an open dialogue is key to reducing disputes and ensuring the long term success of managed property investments.