Updated: Aug 3
July went by so quickly we actually missed the end of it! This month’s instalment of our blog is a little delayed, as the whole team was tied up with a substantial valuation and disposal over the last few days. July has continued the trend of increasing instructions and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, which suggests this is more than just a blip. There has been a large quantity of smaller cases with little or no assets, but we are also starting to see some larger cases come through at long last.
In July we had 22 new instructions, which is well above pre-pandemic levels and well on the way to our all time monthly record of 26. It comprised the usual variety; a mobility aids shop, a motorcycle dealership, two gyms, 6 restaurants/bars, an IT company, 3 construction companies, a chain of 3 spas and a marketing company. The key trend that is starting to emerge is the hospitality sector and the market has been flooded with second hand commercial catering equipment. Many of these cases have required not only asset valuations but also valuations of business goodwill and intellectual property and also lease appraisals.
We have also seen an increase in instructions from private clients requesting valuations of their businesses to assist them in the decision-making process. A lot of this work is coming from insolvency and accountancy referrals, which we very much appreciate.
We are also still working on some case from June – a sure sign of better quality instructions that are not just open and shut valuations. Prominent amongst them is the valuation and disposal of an estate agency sales and lettings business, which is still on-going.
As we mentioned in April’s blog, the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 came into effect on 24th March 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.
From conversations with our local commercial lawyer contacts, we aren’t aware of many cases that have moved to arbitration. It may be that landlords and tenants are coming to agreements without having to go to arbitration. The moratorium period ends on 24th September 2022, but it may possibly be extended by the government.
We are enjoying catching up with our clients at an increase of networking events, paramount to strategic growth and partnerships. The office continues to be looking somewhat vacant, simply due to the increase in site visits, providing a greater insight into the businesses and assets that we are privileged to value and market.
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