Market Insight

As a property lender, can I appoint a Fixed Charge / LPA Receiver during COVID-19 lockdown to recover debt?

April 28, 2020

Many businesses and their people are being adversely affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, through no fault of their own. As a result, there is considerable sensitivity around lenders taking any formal action against borrowers during these unique circumstances.

Indeed, we have already seen Government intervention in the form of the Coronavirus Act 2020, including a moratorium on commercial landlords forfeiting leases for non-payment of rent up until the 30th June.

However, there may be cases where, for issues unrelated to COVID-19, there are legitimate reasons for lenders to take action in order to enforce their security. 

In the most severe circumstances, this might lead lenders to seek to appoint a Fixed Charge / LPA Receiver to take control of, and ultimately recover, the debt – be it a property, portfolio or development. 

Whilst there is not currently any specific Government legislation or guidance that precludes this course of action, it is a judgement that must be carefully considered on a case by case basis before lenders se the wheels in motion. 

With this in mind, it is worth seeking professional advice from an LPA Receivership specialist who, working closely with you, will help you to consider the merit of each option available to you. Meanwhile, there are also practical benefits in appointing a Receiver – from making sure adequate insurance cover is in place and ensuring that non-domestic business rates and council tax liabilities are mitigated for vacant properties, to securing rent directly from tenants.

Here at Vail Williams we have RICS Registered Property Receivers experienced in a variety of property assets – commercial and residential – available to respond quickly to appointments across the UK. We are also able to undertake pre-appointment investigation, much of which can be undertaken remotely, until social distancing restrictions are relaxed to facilitate inspections. 

The COVID-19 pandemic will, unfortunately, result in business casualties. From delays and cost over-runs on developments, and tenants unable to meet rental liabilities, to missed mortgage payments – all of these will have an impact on investors and lenders. 

Drawing on our full-service property advice, we can assist with the provision of property solutions to address some of these problems, and will formulate appropriate exit strategies where required. 

For more information or to discuss a specific issue, get in touch with our team of experienced LPA Receivership advisers.