We have gained an excellent reputation in the enforcement sector thanks to our tenacious approach to collecting rent and sundry arrears under the new Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) regulations. We have adapted our processes to reflect the new legislation and benefit from our large call centre when dealing with the compliance stage introduced by the 2014 regulations. This means that unlike some of our competitors we are well placed to handle the demands of the quarterly rent cycles.
Our proven and unique recovery process means that we have a 85% success rate on collections, and as we don’t charge you fees we are highly incentivised to collect your rent in full.
If you would like to instruct us to collect your rent please contact us on 0161 214 8066.
We also offer forfeiture services where your commercial lease allows for forfeiture. Please contact us for further information on 0161 214 8066.
Commercial rent collection
Forfeiture of lease
Former tenant arrears
On 6th April 2014 the collection of commercial rent changed. The government have implemented the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 bringing into force new legislation concerning the collection of unpaid rent when using an enforcement officer (“bailiff”).
A landlord still has the ability to use an enforcement officer to collect unpaid rent without a court order. CRAR is different to the old legislation (Distress for Rent) in several key areas:
- You can collect “pure rent”, VAT and interest only, not service charges or insurance.
- A written commercial lease has to be in place, with no residential dwelling included in the commercial lease.
- The enforcement agent must send a warning letter (“compliance letter”) to the tenant giving seven days for them to pay before an enforcement officer can be sent.
Debt Recovery Plus will work with you to ensure that all of your questions concerning the new legislation are answered before you decide whether to instruct.
If you would like to read more about the new legislation the relevant documents are available here:
Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/15/contents
The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1894/contents/made
The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1/contents/made
The Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/421/contents/made
Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery FAQ
“How do I instruct you?”
The instruction process is very simple however we would like to speak to you first to ensure that you are compliant with the new legislation. Please phone 0161 214 8066 to speak to the enforcement team. Alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer your questions.
“My tenant has not paid. Can you send an enforcement officer today?”
Under CRAR a compliance letter must be sent to the tenant giving seven days to pay the rent before an enforcement officer can be sent. Debt Recovery Plus will send the letter on your behalf and will keep you updated. We can also offer you access to our collections database so you can see exactly what is happening with your case at any time.
“If the tenant has not paid after you have sent the compliance letter, what happens next?”
After seven clear days have elapsed (excluding the day the letter has been sent, Sundays and bank holidays) you can then instruct the enforcement officer to visit the tenant. Debt Recovery Plus will send you an automatic email the moment the enforcement officer can lawfully be sent, so that you can decide whether to instruct them to attend.
“When can an enforcement officer attend?”
CRAR allows for an enforcement officer to attend between 06:00-21:00 every day of the year expect for bank holidays, or later if the business in question does not open until then.
“I have service charges outstanding but I don’t want to spend money on a court order. What can you do to help?”
Debt Recovery Plus has a full solution for the collection of sundry arrears. Please speak to our enforcement team on 0161 214 8066 to discuss the free options available to you.
“My lease allows the tenant to live in a flat about the shop. Can I use an enforcement officer?”
CRAR does not allow for enforcement to take place in mixed use premises. However Debt Recovery Plus has a free solution to collect your rent and sundry arrears. Please speak to our enforcement team on 0161 214 8066 and we will discuss what options are available to you.
“How much does it cost me to instruct an enforcement agent to attend?”
Debt Recovery Plus are happy to offer you a free enforcement service. There is no cost to you at any stage of the process as long as you allow the enforcement officer to complete the enforcement process. Our fees are charged to the tenant as per the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014.
“I want to forfeit the lease. Does the new legislation affect me?”
CRAR makes no changes to the rights of forfeiture. Please contact our enforcement team on 0161 214 8066 who will be happy to arrange the whole process for you.
“I am a commercial landlord and under Distress for Rent legislation I would collect the commercial rent myself by seizing my tenant’s goods. Can I still do this?”
CRAR forbids anyone other than a certificated enforcement officer to control goods (seize them). All Debt Recovery Plus enforcement officers are fully trained and certificated to collect your arrears.
“I don’t think that the tenant will pay. Is there any point in instructing you?”
Our team will always push for full immediate payment unless instructed otherwise. If the tenant is unwilling or unable to pay we will discuss the options available with you. We believe it is always worthwhile using an enforcement officer to collect your debt as it is a free service and you will never have better leverage for collecting your debt than when an enforcement officer attends on your behalf.
“If my tenant does not pay the enforcement officer, what are my options?”
We will be happy to arrange the removal and sale of goods from the demised premises to pay your arrears. Alternatively if the goods are insufficient, or you would prefer to take another course of action, our experienced team will be happy to discuss the options available to you throughout the collection process.
“I believe that the tenant will abscond/remove goods/transfer ownership of goods if we send a compliance letter! I don’t want to take the risk!”
Once a compliance letter has been sent (whether the tenant receives it or not) the goods are “bound” meaning that they are not allowed to knowingly sell the goods or transfer ownership to a third party. There is a risk that goods may be removed however high value items tend to be goods that are vital to the operation of a business e.g. machinery or computer servers. These goods are generally not easy to remove and if they are removed will have a tremendous impact on the ability of the tenant to trade. We believe that most tenants will not remove these high value items. It is also worth considering that the other option of enforcement (through the court) is a much slower and longer process which would afford the tenant even more time to transfer ownership of goods and remove them.
There are some risks involved in collecting your debt, however the risks of doing nothing are in our opinion much higher.
Most leases contain forfeiture rights involving peaceable re-entry. Debt Recovery Plus bailiffs will execute these on your behalf, attending with a qualified locksmith and ensuring the posting of termination notices. Our personnel will also provide a full Inventory for your records
Contact us for further information on: 0161 214 8066
The usual scenario is the creditor issues a claim in the county court and gains a judgement. The copy of the judgement is then sent to the defendant who subsequently does not pay!
The creditor is then faced with the difficult decision of what to do next. This could be from a rouge tradesman, a tribunal award or for any type of debt. Sometimes the defendant will be unable to pay and your next move just means you are throwing good money after bad.
What are your options
1 An attachment of earnings if you know where the defendant lives and where they work (if they move jobs the whole enforcement process must start again).
2 A charging order on property. The defendant obviously needs to have some equity in the property and it is unlikely you can force a sale so you could be waiting a long time for your money.
3 In this situation you may serve an order on an individual or company that holds money for the debtor e.g. a bank holding the debtors account. However, this order only applies to the day on which it is served. So if the debtor holds no money on that day but does so on the next you may miss out.
4 Send in the county court enforcement agent. You can appoint a county court bailiff to seize goods to the value of the debt and costs. County court enforcement agents are civil servants and get paid the same regardless of success so most creditors do not find them as effective as other types of enforcement agents.
5 If the debt is for £600 or more transfer to high court for the high court enforcement officers to execute. High court enforcement officers will transfer the debt to the high court for you and execute the writ they obtain. The high court officers are allowed to add fees to the debt which the defendant will have to pay. Contact us for further information.
6 Attend court for questioning. You can obtain an order to be personally served on the debtor or a director of the debtors company. This will require them to attend court at a given time and date where you or an officer of the court can ask them questions under oath about their finances and assets. This sometimes proves useful but in reality depends upon the defendant telling the truth. If the defendant fails to turn up in court there is the threat of prison, although this power is rarely used.
7 Get a status report completed. You can get one of our officers/Investigators to conduct a status report on your defendant to give you sufficient information to make a decision on the best form of enforcement. This costs around £65 plus vat.