Under the current CRAR procedures for pursuing commercial tenant rent arrears through an Enforcement Agent, here are a few extra pointers to be aware of over and above the basic principle instruction and notice period:
1. There are Limits in When the Seizure of Goods Can Finally Take Place
So the golden rule is that they can only be taken between 6 am and 9 pm, unless the tenant operates outside these hours, in order to ensure that access is at a reasonable time rather than, say, in the middle of the night. This can often be confused with measures to forfeit a lease by changing locks to the property which operates under different legislation altogether.
2. The Goods Taken Must be Over £1,500 in Value and Belong to the Tenant
This helps the tenant keep hold of small and essential items rather than the enforcement agent having the power to take whatever. The agent must therefore make a good judgement about what goods fall into these categories, and which may cause problems for businesses that have numerous amounts of small items and tools for their business.
3. The 7 Days’ Notice Periods Excludes Sundays and Bank Holidays
This will therefore need careful planning, with the Enforcement Agent agreeing exactly what days are included in this calculation to make sure action is not taken too soon. You will also need to clarify what days are included at the start and end of this 7 day period, and what is inclusive.
4. At Least 7 Days Arrears is the Key
Anything less, then no action will be possible under CRAR Commercial Rent Arrears recovery, and to be honest for 7 days arrears it may not be worth the cost and involvement of instructing a CRAR Enforcement agent, particularly for smaller rental-levels arrears. However if part payments are made, then this is fine so long as the remaining amount still equates to at least 7 days’ worth of arrears.
5. You Can Short-Cut the 7-Day Notice Period With the Court’s Consent
So you can apply to court for an order for a shorter notice period, particularly if you’re concerned with, say, the tenant disappearing, although the time and involvement in establishing this needs to be appreciated. This is certainly a key issue under CRAR, with this 7-day breathing space for the tenant which will protect them from drastic action from the landlord, but potentially increase the risk for the landlord with the worst-case scenario being that the tenant disappears or reduces what items can then be looked at for action against.
Need More Help?
Claim your FREE Property Management Pack here – including a 15-point Property Deal Cheat Sheet, and Introduction & Chapter from our amazon-best-seller book, the Property Management Guide.
Please leave comments below with any thoughts and queries.