Somehow it is the end of April already and it definitely feels like spring has sprung. The Easter weekend brought four days of glorious sunshine in Ringwood which was enjoyed by all the team. April has swept by in a flurry of new instructions and dealing with the clearance of our metal fabrication auction and subsequent site clearance. Instructions have included a telecommunications business, a share valuation, a convenience shop, a precision engineering company, a media company, football club, health and beauty centre and a technology company. It’s a very mixed bag and there aren’t any particular trends that we are seeing at the moment. There definitely is more of a pipeline for the next few months, and decisions seem to being made now with more and more of our clients converting enquiries into instructions at close to pre-covid levels.
As we mentioned in last month’s blog, the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 came into effect on 24thMarch 2022, which put in place a 6-month moratorium to allow commercial rent disputes over protected rents go to arbitration. Whilst what qualifies as a protected rent debt is too in depth for this blog, the good news for our sector is that landlords can now pursue unprotected rent debts using the usual remedies. It is worth noting that landlords that are disputing protected rent debts that then pursue unprotected rent debts by means of forfeiting the lease therefore forfeit the right to protected rent debts using the arbitrated process. So, they either have to wait for the 6-month period to end, start the arbitration process or waive their right to the protected rent debt and regain their property due to unprotected rent debts. Look out for our summary of the arbitration process and what opportunities there are for insolvency practitioners next month!
From conversations with our local commercial lawyer contacts, we aren’t aware of any cases that have moved to the arbitration stage yet, but it is still early days. It may be that landlords and tenants are coming to agreements without having to go to arbitration. In any case, we are expecting an increase in instructions in the coming months as a result of this legislation coming into effect.
We have almost completed the site clearance of our auction in Arundel, with the exception of the Bystronic BySprint laser, which is awaiting export to Poland in the next few days. As well as the disposal of the assets, we have cleared the site and also scrapped a number of redundant machines and material off-cuts to bring in further realisations. It has been a very enjoyable experience for the team to work on such a significant project following the quieter times of the pandemic.
As well as insolvency instructions we have also quoted for a number of share valuations and property valuations for private clients. The housing market continues to fly and prices are still soaring. It is important to get valuations checked and re-valued at more frequent intervals due to the fast-moving nature of the market currently.
Looking forward to the coming summer months, there doesn’t seem to be any signs of the pipeline slowing down and the increase in instructions so far this year doesn’t appear to be a blip. We are also looking forward to catching up with our clients at an array of networking events and getting out and about on site visits.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance with any matters. We are always happy to take a look at assets for you and let you know if they are worth dealing with. The impact of Covid-19 on many disposal processes have heightened the thresholds of what is cost effective to deal with and not.
We hope you all keep safe and well, and have a busy and prosperous rest of 2022!
Liv and the Team at Proudley Associates