Maintenance and Admin Steps To Preserve Commercial Premises
Commercial property owners are feeling the pinch as SMEs are unable to survive the pandemic.
86% of SME business owners believe that a second wave of Covid-19 would have a negative impact on their business, with 15% saying that their company would not be able to survive another hit. As shutters are pulled down on businesses across the UK, the retail and hospitality industries in particular are feeling the pinch as Brits adjust to online shopping. With a vast increase in remote working, there are less people browsing the shops on lunchbreaks, and even the famously busy seaside towns are seeing very little trade. The owner of a phone accessories and repair shop in Bournemouth town explains “Half a million people turned up… but the town was dead.”
As commercial landlords are receiving notice from their tenants, what must they do to secure and maintain their vacant properties?
Securing Your Premises
If your property has recently been vacated, then you’ll want to make sure that the security around it is watertight to prevent squatters and vandals from targeting it when it’s occupied. CCTV installation London solutions can ensure that your building is constantly under surveillance so that any unauthorised activity will be monitored and recorded. CCTV is associated with a significant decrease in crime in areas where there are obviously security cameras in place. Criminals are known to be dissuaded from carrying out crimes where their actions could be caught and used in a conviction against them. Combining surveillance with an active burglar alarm system is an effective way to extend your security strategy.
It is often the obligation of the landlord rather than the tenant to arrange for insurance on a commercial property. As soon as you know your commercial premises will be vacant, it’s important to check your insurance policy for its validity. You should ask your provider if there are any obligations you should fulfil to ensure that full cover is offered even during inoccupation. Typically, this cover wanes following 30 days of vacancy, but some providers are extending cover due to the pandemic.
Checking Your Lease
If your property is leasehold, then you should also doublecheck the small print to ascertain what responsibilities you may have in the current situation. You may need to maintain the property to prevent it from falling into disrepair. Similarly, you may be required to supply services and utilities to the building even if they’re not being used. Water systems should routinely be checked and flushed to avoid a build-up of contaminants and bacteria such as legionella.
Throughout the pandemic, one of your top priorities will be your financial situation. If your property is unoccupied, then you’ll probably want to market it for new commercial businesses as soon as possible. Commercial lettings agents are open again following lockdown and can conduct virtual or physical tours of your premises to prospective tenants. You may need to be prepared to drop your rates somewhat, and if you have a mortgage, then you can discuss taking a short payment break from your lender for a few months.
With the possibility of a vaccine being available later in 2020 or in 2021, it hopefully won’t be long before we’re on the road to economic recovery. Take proactive steps to secure and maintain your commercial premises today so that they’re ready again for fresh business in the coming months.