1 May, 2020

Proactive property management during COVID-19

It is now more important than ever to have an experienced property manager in place to oversee the running of a building and to monitor and engage with the occupiers.

During these extraordinary times BA Commercial are working closely with clients , occupiers and service providers to ensure landlords and tenants fully understand the government support that is in place, how this impacts their individual circumstances in terms of rent payment and to ensure services are reviewed and adapted to maintain the safety, security and compliance of the building.

Lease advisory has also been busy re-gearing leases where necessary to help tenants immediate cash flow by way of rent free but removing future break clauses or renewing/ extending a lease for increased security for the landlord for the future.

Rent collection.

We have had numerous requests from occupiers since the closure of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and the lockdown at the end of March. These include rent deferments, rent holidays or requests to pay a proportion of the rent. Each request has been considered on a case by case basis and advice given dependent upon individual circumstances. We have taken a hands- on approach to guide tenants through the government grant schemes which are designed to help with tenants overheads such as rent and have advised clients on their strategy towards any rent free/ rent deferment given.

In these uncertain times we understand the importance of communication with both landlords and tenants to steer them through this difficult stage in the hope that the partnership can survive and ultimately flourish when normality resumes.

Building services and service charge budgets.

The management of a site during COVID-19 is a fine balance between reducing costs and services whilst occupancy rates are low but ensuring statutory compliance and increased sanitation for the safety of the occupiers or visitors to the premises.

Key points

  • service charge cash flow needs to stay in place.
  • Increased cleaning of touch points around the building.
  • Increased security measures due to low occupancy and footfall in and around the building.
  • Increased need for general inspections due to low occupancy levels.
  • Strict control of contractors undertaking works to minimise the risk of contracting/ spreading the virus
  • Not necessarily savings as increased security and cleaning are needing to be implemented
  • Non-essential services such as window cleaning reduced

 

Harriet Shakeshaft
Commercial Property Surveyor