Related insights: Commercial Property


How open is the open market? 1954 Act Valuation and the new Telecoms Code

25 Aug 2020
Since the Code was introduced in December 2017, professionals involved in the negotiation of new Code rights between landowners and operators have wrestled with how the Code and the 1954 Act interrelate. Their effective mutual exclusivity (confirmed both in the Code itself and in the subsequent decision of Ashloch) is by now well known, but until now there was no answer to this key question. The Deputy Chamber President's resulting judgment is interesting both as an illustration of a standard 1954 Act lease renewal, and in what it says about open market rentals in a new Code world.

The high street, town centres and planning reform in England - the Use Classes Order

14 Aug 2020
Major changes are afoot for those owning, occupying, funding or developing commercial and business premises. On 21 July 2020 the Government laid a statutory instrument which will make radical changes to how high street and business uses are categorised in planning terms. Changes come into effect on 1 September 2020 and will apply to England only. We have provided a summary table below on the sweeping changes but first we consider the key implications for those in the commercial property world.

Hotel management agreements post COVID-19: a new world?

02 Jun 2020
A hotel management agreement (HMA) is the core document governing the relationship between hotel owners and operators/managers. In a subsector of the commercial real estate industry particularly hard hit by COVID-19 disruptions, this relationship is being tested in unique ways.

Retailers win battle over ATM business rates

21 May 2020
There has been some good news for retailers at last in these challenging trading conditions following the long awaited decision by the Supreme Court in the Cardtronics' case. Following on from the Court of Appeal decision which ruled that ATMs in supermarkets, shops and petrol stations are not separately rateable a decision which was reported to see retailers able to claim business rates rebates of an estimated £300 million the Supreme Court has now dismissed the appeal from the VOA against that earlier decision.

RPI is changing: 3 reasons why property occupiers and investors need to take action

12 May 2020
The recent announcement of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to extend the consultation period for assessing the reform of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) until this summer in view of COVID-19 will give businesses more time to respond on this important issue. Whilst many of the articles about the proposal to align RPI with the Consumer Prices Index plus Housing Costs (CPIH) methodology will focus on the effect it will have on bonds and pension schemes, landlords and tenants will need to be aware of the implications for commercial leases. It has been accepted that RPI will go (or be brought in line with CPIH) from 2030, but the Chancellor has given a clear signal that he is thinking about bringing that date forward to 2025. This makes it relevant for many new leases being agreed now or already in place.

Local Authorities: the high street's white knight?

05 May 2020
The role of local authorities in the COVID-19 response has been unprecedented (as has been the financial support from central government) with almost every function affected in some way. Equally local authorities have been at the forefront of help for small businesses including retailers with financial assistance. As we look ahead and prepare for the recovery phase (and ultimately transformation) their role will only strengthen. This article looks at one element where a significant difference can be made in a local authority's economic development role harnessing their powers to drive forward the growth agenda.

Leases, retailers and COVID-19

13 Mar 2020
On 11 March 2020 the chief of The World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. The WHO has called for "urgent and aggressive action" and emphasised the need to "strike a fine balance between protecting health and minimising disruption".