Commercial Property Law Update 2020

Due to the current situation, this conference will now take place as a Live Virtual conference. It will also be recorded and be available on demand after the event.

For more details and booking information please click here.

Date: Thursday 8 Oct 2020

Time:

CPD Hours:

£
+VAT
£0.00 (incl. VAT)
Cost including lunch:
£+VAT £0.00 (incl. VAT)
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KEY SUBJECTS

  • CORONAVIRUS, TENANT INSOLVENCY, AND THE IMPACT ON LANDLORD’S REMEDIES
  • THE MEES REGULATIONS – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISPUTES FOR THE 2020s 
  • TERMS OF THE RENEWAL LEASE: LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 
  • SERVICE CHARGES – ISSUES OF DRAFTING AND MANAGEMENT IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
  • THE FUTURE ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE – ALL CHANGE FOR CERTAIN SECTORS
  • TRICKY AREAS IN COMMERCIAL LEASES 

SPEAKERS

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

Ben Strange MRICS, Director, Mobius Building Consultancy Ltd

Mark Shelton, Commercial Property Management Law Trainer

Suzanne Gill, Partner , Wedlake Bell LLP

Richard Snape, Consultant, Davitt Jones Bould

PROGRAMME

9.30am CHAIRMAN’S INTRODUCTION

CORONAVIRUS, TENANT INSOLVENCY, AND THE IMPACT ON LANDLORD’S REMEDIES

Coronavirus, the government’s lockdown of many businesses and social distancing – all are having a huge and detrimental effect on the solvency of commercial tenants. What remedies and rights does a landlord have especially in light of recent government ‘pandemic’ legislation?

  • Statutory demands and winding up – the proposed Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill
  • When the rent can be unilaterally reduced, how and why: Discovery v Debenhams
  • The Coronavirus Act 2020, a new moratorium and proposed changes to statutory demands and winding up orders – where do they leave the landlord?
  • Can you still rely on the guarantor? And who else must pay rent?

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

THE MEES REGULATIONS – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISPUTES FOR THE 2020s 

The MEES Regulations were introduced in April 2018 to improve the energy efficiency of the country’s leasehold property stock.  Designed so or not, this has given rise to an unexpected array of negotiation strategies available to well-advised tenants who – with the risk of blighting buildings with sub-standard EPCs as their trump card – are taking increasingly aggressive positions against their Landlords on matters such as dilapidations, rent reviews and lease renewals.

With the suggestion live that the UK Government are set to raise the lettable standard to a minimum EPC rating of B by 2030, it is perceived that this is fast becoming one of the driving forces in Landlord/Tenant matters and will dominate property litigation over the next ten years. This session will look at:

  • A brief recount of the MEES Regulations
  • EPCs – why most cannot be relied upon
  • MEES and Acquisitions – the combination of an inaccurate EPC and a highly geared purchase – who is to blame for a default?
  • MEES and Renewals – with renewals and lease extensions being captured by MEES, can a Landlord refuse to renew a ’54 Act lease of an ‘unlettable’ property?
  • MEES and Dilapidations – if a given property is unable to be let anyway, why would a tenant yield it up in repair?
  • MEES and Rent Reviews – if a property’s rental value is to be assessed based on comparables, what is the rental value of a property which is unable to be lawfully let?
  • Weaponising EPCs – what are the risks and rewards for a tenant who elects to breach their ‘no EPC’ covenant?

Ben Strange MRICS, Director, Mobius Building Consultancy Ltd

TERMS OF THE RENEWAL LEASE: LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 

Increasingly tenants are looking to change lease terms on renewal – particularly where the impact of coronavirus has left the tenant with no income but continuing lease obligations.  What lease terms can be updated or standardised on renewal under the 1954 Act?

  • Will pandemic insurance or force majeure clauses become standard?
  • How to approach the tricky issue of break clauses
  • Alienation clauses – and compulsory AGAs
  • Rent review clauses and market practice
  • Repair, service charges and statutory compliance – the need for care re: MEES

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

SERVICE CHARGES – ISSUES OF DRAFTING AND MANAGEMENT IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an examination of standard service charge provisions and speculation as to what specific bespoke drafting may emerge in future.  It is anticipated that tenants are likely to be seeking shorter terms and greater flexibility in future, and service charges will need to adapt.  Meanwhile, new caselaw continues to keep us on our toes.  This talk will consider practical issues including:

  • What can be expected at lease renewal?
  • Sinking/Reserve funds and Depreciation charges – what are the differences and which is appropriate?
  • Recovering the cost of improvements – does Southwark LBC v Baharier amount to a blank cheque?
  • How well have service charge frameworks accommodated COVID-19?

Mark Shelton, Commercial Property Management Law Trainer

THE FUTURE ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE – ALL CHANGE FOR CERTAIN SECTORS

This talk will pick up current market trends and developments and work through the legal aspects of them. It will be relevant to those advising investors, occupiers and lenders.

  • Have turnover rents come to the high street?
  • A new lease of life for pop ups
  • Tenant’s counter attack – derogation from grant and quiet enjoyment
  • Side letters – tips and traps
  • Highly reversionary leases – key factors to consider
  • Secure income from logistics investments – how well is the rent tied to inflation?

Suzanne Gill, Partner , Wedlake Bell LLP

TRICKY AREAS IN COMMERCIAL LEASES 

The talk will aim to look at commonplace but tricky areas in relation to commercial leases, and will look at problems and their solutions. Topics covered will include:

  • Alienation covenants and Licences to Assign – inadvertently granting a licence
  • Reasonableness of refusal of consent to assignment, especially in the light of the Supreme Court decision in Sequent v Rotrust (2019)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax and Rent – pitfalls in relation to assignment and the duration
  • SDLT on holding over – some of the pitfalls
  • SDLT and break clauses – whether an option might be more desirable
  • Meaning of repairing covenants as opposed to renewals and improvements, especially in the light of the Blue Manchester v North West Ground Rents (2019)
  • Repairing covenants and limitations on damages under S 18 Landlord and Tenant Act 1927

Richard Snape, Consultant, Davitt Jones Bould

5.00 pm CLOSE OF PROCEEDINGS    

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