COVID-19 Coronavirus: Real Estate

In March, the UK government announced that there would be a 12-month business rates holiday for occupiers of commercial premises engaged in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors from those premises for the 2020-2021 tax year. Occupiers of commercial premises that did not fall within these business categories were disappointed that they were ineligible for relief. This OnPoint discusses how property owners and occupiers of properties that do not fall within these three business categories may still be entitled to a separate relief from their business rates liability.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 Business Rates in the UK – Another Relief May be Available (UK) - July 17, 2020

In this OnPoint, we consider practical issues affecting UK developers, contractors and funders of development projects balancing practical implications of the COVID-19 crisis with the need to progress works and comply with legal obligations in development, construction and loan agreements.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 Issues Affecting Construction Contracts and Development Projects (UK) - July 16, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted upon valuations in the UK, with site visits often being impossible. This OnPoint looks at the effect on valuations and transactions, as well as possible disclaimers and the margin for error.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 and Valuations in the UK (UK) - June 3, 2020

The COVID-19 situation has forced the government in England to temporarily change planning laws, which include new rights for restaurants and pubs to trade as food takeaways, relaxation of certain planning controls and the postponement of all public local inquiries. This permitted change comes with two caveats: first, some planning permissions contain conditions prohibiting a change out of a specific use class to another use. Second, the amendment does not affect the terms of any existing lease of premises.

Read our guidance: English Planning Update (UK) - May 29, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has raised questions on whether insurance will help businesses mitigate losses suffered as a result of the pandemic. This OnPoint looks at the position in the UK and the U.S., with a particular focus on business interruption insurance.

Read our guidance: The Impact of COVID-19 on Insurance of Real Estate (U.S. and UK) - May 22, 2020

Since the UK's mandatory lockdown at the end of March, landlords and tenants have been considering the implications for commercial leases and, in particular, obligations relating to the payment of rent. This OnPoint takes a closer look at some issues for both parties and provides an overview of the recently introduced Coronavirus Act 2020 in the context of business leases. 

Read our guidance: The Impact on Commercial Leases in the UK (UK) - May 18, 2020

The UK Government has announced that there will be a 12-month business rate holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020-2021 tax year. There is no rateable value limit for the relief, which means that no business rates will be payable for these properties during this period. This is a significant saving, given that an average occupier pays annual business rates equal to 50 percent of its annual rent.

Read our guidance: Business Rates Holiday in the UK (UK) - May 18, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the introduction, across the world, of various government-backed schemes to assist tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to the impact of the coronavirus. This OnPoint looks at the schemes introduced in the UK, France, Germany and the United States.

Read our guidance: Government Assistance for Tenants in the UK, France, Germany and the U.S. (U.S. and Europe) - May 18, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has raised a number of concerns for parties to commercial property contracts. In relation to contracts that are currently being negotiated in the UK, the parties will likely need to have discussions about pushing out completion timelines and/or including conditionality linked to the lifting of the current restrictions. With regard to contracts that have already been entered into, but not yet completed, COVID-19 raises the prospect of delays and the possibility that conditions in conditional contracts cannot be fulfilled within time frames originally agreed between parties.

Read our guidance: Disposals and Acquisitions: Agreements for Lease and Property Sale and Purchase Agreements (UK) - May 7, 2020