These are strange times for everyone in the commercial property world, whether it’s builders/developers, landlords, tenants, shop owners or professional advisers.
Yes, there are green shoots of recovery out there but the watch-word is “caution” for almost everybody. Will house builders find buyers with the confidence to trade up to a new house, even if they can get a mortgage? Will hospitality businesses be able to meet their outgoings when they can open again but only on a restricted basis and without the benefit of the furlough scheme?
We are seeing an up-tick in activity but lots of clients are seeking advice on how to go about meeting their legal obligations in the post-covid world (for example over rent issues) and very few are gung-ho about the future.
The caution shown by pubs, cafes and restaurants epitomises this. They can open from Saturday July 4th but quite a few are not rushing to start trading on that date, despite months without any business and the relaxing of some of the usual licensing and planning rules. We understand that a number of businesses in the York area won’t be re-opening at all and expect to see takeovers becoming common, as the weak are gobbled up by the strong. This has been the story of all recessions in living memory but this time it will surely be more extreme than ever and no-one can possibly know how it will pan out. What is clear is that specialist legal advice is more important than ever, which is why you need to contact Guest Walker when you need any assistance.
If you need any help or advice, get in touch with our Commercial Property Team.