The notices are critical under CRAR as these will ensure a valid claim or course of action. They therefore need to be correct, and the circumstances and time frames clearly understood under them. One example is once notice is served then the Enforcement Agent can take action within 12 months from the date of the notice.
This can be important where, say, action under CRAR will hopefully force the tenant to realistically pay the arrears without any further action being needed, however action can be taken up to 12 months after the date on the notice, a fact that the tenant will need to be aware of in order to understand that there can be clear consequences from not paying.
Another issue with the notices is to make sure that they are correctly authorised and signed by the landlord. Sounds straightforward, but this needs to be the landlord under the lease with the tenant which will hopefully match the freeholder, plus whether any representatives of the landlord can act on the behalf, even if they provide written documentation from the landlord giving them authority, for example a managing agent or firm of solicitors.
Also, this authorisation and instruction from the landlord to the enforcement agent will need to include important pieces of information, which will need to be issued in a similar fashion to current bailiffs under distain, some examples being:
• the date of authorisation
• the landlord’s name and contact details
• the name/contact details of the person authorised to act for the landlord
• details to identify the actual commercial premises and the demise correctly
• the amount of rent owed
• the period which the rent is owed for
In terms of the actual Notice issued by the Enforcement Agent to the tenant, this will need prescribed information and accuracy, some example of what it will need to contain being:
• the name and address of the debtor/tenant
• the reference number or numbers
• the date of the notice itself
• details of the enforcement power being exerted
• information about the debt including sufficient details for the debtor to identify correctly the amount being pursued including any interest as at the date of notice
• the amount of any enforcement costs up to the date of notice
• the possible additional costs of enforcement if the sum outstanding should remain unpaid as at the date of which the sum outstanding must be paid
• how the payment can be made.
• between which hours the payment can be made
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