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The effects of COVID-19 has seen many businesses ground to a halt over the past weeks as they navigate through this unprecedented scenario. As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, and businesses reassess their strategies, here are some practical ways to help keep real estate moving.

1) Managing landlord and tenant relations

During this time there is a need for closer relationships to properly understand the position of each party. Service charge payments will potentially be delayed and quarterly rents impacted. It is important both parties work together to find a reasonable solution. Leases will still expire and more breaks are likely to be exercised.

Keep on top of lease events to ensure they are properly considered and planned. Begin an early dialogue regarding short term extensions and ensure the relevant notice periods, as stipulated in the lease, are given ahead of breaks or expiries.

2) Keeping things moving from a distance

As face-to-face contact becomes obsolete for the time being, using drones and data capture to carry out inspections from a distance can provide a safe and effective alternative to in-person inspections.

Using H360 cameras, data can be captured to provide virtual walk-throughs of a vacant property – very much like a virtual letting agent.

3) Ensuring vacant buildings are kept in good repair

With many buildings vacant, ensuring your property is kept safe during the COVID-19 lockdown period will be of great concern for those responsible for commercial property.

Be aware of maintenance risks that can arise in vacant buildings – from legionella in water systems, to ensuring electrics, wires and pipes are all kept in good working order, and energy is saved as much as possible.

Start to think about planning your maintenance audits now to check for backlog maintenance and safety issues.

4) Planning for deals to be done 

Whilst there is still some transactional activity, many have an eye to the future, and will be preparing assets to take to market when things pick up.

Effective ‘due diligence’ can still be done from a distance. So ensure you have your technical due diligence in place so you can get a full picture of the state and risks associated with a property in preparation to buy or sell.

5) Preparing to return to the workplace

Our workspaces will start to look quite different as we get our head around adapting to new social distancing guidance.

With the majority of offices empty, now is the perfect time to conduct workplace analysis and plan spaces to ensure your office can get back up and running again as soon as the lockdown is lifted. 

Get in touch with one of our experts if you would like to discuss how we can help with any of these areas.

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