A new form has been released with the aim of helping commercial tenants who are struggling with their landlord.
In a year full of stress, headaches and sleepless nights many bar owners have been beset by landlords wholly unwilling to understand their financial plights. Whilst reopening will obviously help the situation there will still be thousands of owners with vast amounts of rent arrears to pay off on top of the usual costs of running a venue.
Anyone with half a brain could see that communication is going to be key in coming up with a realistic plan to get the issue resolved. Unfortunately, from what we are hearing, half a brain is substantially more than many landlords have. With this is mind a new form, to be filled in by both the tenant and landlord, has been produced to help.
Whilst it is easy to be dismissive of the effectiveness of such a plan it is important to know what would happen if things escalated to a court level.
According to the government advice: Before commencing proceedings, the court will expect the parties to have exchanged sufficient information to:
- understand each other’s position;
- make decisions about how to proceed;
- try to settle the issues without proceedings;
- consider a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to assist with settlement;
- support the efficient management of those proceedings; and
- reduce the costs of resolving the dispute.
This is exactly what this form is designed to do. If tenants are proactive in proceeding with the form it puts the pressure onto the landlord to open up lines of communication rather than relying on the courts to solve the issue.
Of course, this isn’t going to be a fix for everyone, and some landlords will continue to bury their heads in the sand, but the initiative has been backed by the various landlord associations across the country as well as UK Hospitality.