In another example of the difficulties being faced by commercial landlords during the coronavirus pandemic, Intu Properties, which owns some of the UK’s largest shopping centres, has said it is ready to take “robust action” against large tenants like Debenhams, Toys R Us, House of Fraser, New Look and HMV for unpaid rent.
Intu Properties, the owner of Lakeside in Essex and Trafford Centre in Manchester, has only managed to collect 40% of the rent due to it by the end of March 2020, and said:
“There are a very small number of cases where customers are not currently engaging with us to find a consensual solution – these are large, well-capitalised brands who have the ability to pay but have chosen not to. In these instances we are prepared to take more robust action to enforce the legally binding terms of those leases.Intu Properties
We are leading experts specialising in insolvency proceedings. Our experienced City of London solicitors and barristers regularly assist companies facing a winding up petition; individuals served a statutory demand; or creditors owed money and considering issuing a winding up petition.
What can commercial landlords do about unpaid rent?
If a tenant company owes unpaid rent, there are a number of options a commercial landlord can consider to get payment of rent arrears.
- Send a warning letter and notice of rent arrears or threaten legal action in a letter of claim. A warning letter carries more weight if it is drafted by specialist debt recovery solicitors; or
- Issue a statutory demand if the rent owed exceeds £750 which would then give the debtor 21 days to pay the outstanding debt. Issuing a statutory demand can be a useful way of expediting the payment of outstanding rent as it carries the threat of winding-up against the debtor company; or
- Given that unpaid rent usually would be considered to be a liquidated debt and in the case where large sums (exceeding £750) are owed, a winding-up petition may be your only option. Any company or individual contemplating a winding up petition for unpaid rent or an overdue invoice should seek legal advice (now more than ever during the uncertainty and evolving insolvency guidance during Covid-19) to avoid the costs consequences of prematurely commencing legal proceedings.
How can we help with outstanding rent?
Our specialist insolvency team regularly provide market leading advice to directors of companies and limited liability partnerships. Our work has featured in KSA Group‘s Worried Directors Guide 2018, including our authoritative guide on compulsory liquidation and winding up petitions.
We are lawyers that specialise in recovering unpaid debts from individuals or companies so we know the best way to get your unpaid debts paid up quickly. This may involve Insolvency or Litigation proceedings.
If you are owed more than £750 by a company or you are a company facing a winding-up petition, we can negotiate on your behalf and advise you through the Insolvency and Companies Court process.
Instruct Specialist Insolvency Lawyers
We provide a no cost initial case review to establish whether or not we can help you. We are a specialist City of London law firm made up of Solicitors & Barristers and based in the Middle Temple Inn of Court adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. We are experts in dealing with matters surrounding insolvency in particular issues. Our team have unparalleled experience at serving statutory demands, negotiating with debtors/creditors, setting aside statutory demands and both issuing and defending winding up petitions vigorously at the Royal Courts of Justice (Rolls Building), or the relevant High Court District Registry or County Court with jurisdiction under the Insolvency Rules
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