How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jamie-Law Your Own Question
Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17261
Experience:  Solicitor
96104960
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jamie-Law is online now

Covid-19 has crushed my business, we are hanging on by

This answer was rated:

Hi,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: Covid-19 has crushed my business, we are hanging on by fingernails. I’ve attempted to negotiate with my commercial landlord for 10 weeks, culminating in me offering him a 20% turnover rent and repayment of reduced arrears, however he has refused and wants full arrears and no change to the lease. We cannot survive having missed the majority of our operational season and limited functionality for at least the next 9-10 months. As a sole trader I don’t want to go fully bankrupt but landlord is telling me it’s the only way. I have a 20 year lease 18 remaining however when asked to register the lease with Land Registry (it was presented for registration in Dec 19, despite tenancy starting April 18) I refused as we had a unresolved dispute with an electrical infrastructure fault on unregistered and uncertified installations. Is there anyway I can use the non registered status to my advantage in not going bankrupt? We just need to get out and try and rebuild our lives through this global emergency!
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: in what sense? For the bankruptcy?
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Bude in Cornwall,
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don’t believe so

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. This is an email service so there may be delays when responding.

Does it have a break clause?
Is it in a Ltd Co name?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No break clauses, I am not a Ltd company, sole trader with just me as only signatory on the lease
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
3 facet business, golf course, camp site and gym. All three leisure industry elements shut down by government. Golf open on limited basis, cannot afford to reestablish driving range, campsite still shut and 65% of bookings cancelled. Gym is permanently terminated, equipment and furnishings sold to pay bills

Have you applied for a bounceback loan or Government grants from HMRC?

Do you own any assets?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Government grant of 10,000. Immediately used to pay suppliers and outstanding invoices on account. Have approximately £3000 in business account right now with 750+ vat pending for legal costs, invoices for £1000 from self employed gardener who assisted during lockdown. I have utilised £5000 bounce back loan to redeem a loan that I had to take out to cover extraneous costs resulting from electrical fault. However all the borrowing available in the world wouldn’t make monthly rental of £2750 achievable following 3 months of non earning, maintenance overheads and now achieving around £40-50 of daily income. I have an apartment I own with approx 30-40k of equity

And your Landlord wont do a deal?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No he won’t. I’ve offered him a rent free period followed by open market rental for 3 years followed by additional profit share. He refused. So I then offered him 20% of turnover which he again refused

Sadly there is nothing you can do.

All you can do is leave and see if he sues you.

If he does then you could go bankrupt.

But if they refuse to let you out, sadly there is just nothing you can do.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want, nor the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

If this answers your question could I invite you to rate me 3, 4 or 5 stars before you leave today?

I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget as it is an important part of the online process! If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost. Thank you.

Jamie-Law and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you