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COVID-19
Consultancy, pro bono support & 
return-to-work assessment for commercial occupiers



The impact of COVID-19 on businesses and our everyday lives has been unprecedented. Notwithstanding the terrible loss of life and threat to our health and frontline services, the outbreak has already impacted the economy, with many businesses witnessing a drop in commercial activity. Though governments globally have introduced measures to help, many organisations are still struggling to cope. We want to help.

Our core principles are the behaviours that underpin the way we do things. One of these principles especially stands out –Together. Accordingly, we are offering pro bono support to commercial occupiers and have already reached out to over 25,000 businesses in the UK. If your business needs support or advice in dialogue with your landlord, regarding the financial covenants in your commercial property lease(s) – please get in touch.

DeVono Cresa have weathered a number of storms over the past 17 years, and yet we’ve sailed through every one of them by evolving and learning. As the UK’s leading occupier-only commercial property advisory firm, we specialise in providing real estate solutions to support clients’ business objectives. We are committed to what we do and are experts at helping you to understand the relationship between the market, support mechanisms on offer, and how property decisions will impact your business.

We have also actively been campaigning and lobbying the UK government through this crisis to extend the 2020/21 business rates holiday to companies across all sectors. For many businesses, a rates holiday could be the difference between staying open and closing. Please sign the petition.

Though we would like to help as many as possible, we are cognisant of our finite capacity for this pro bono offering. However, we will strive to answer your queries and give you the best advice possible.

We are confident that we will transition through this with the support of one another. We are in this together. Take care and stay safe.

 

 

Return-To-The-Office Risk Assessment

Over the past couple of months, we have been working with a large number of businesses to assess their return to office strategy, and preparations to deliver a ‘COVID-19 Secure’ office. Our assessment tool forms a key part of our strategic approach recognising the short, medium, and long-term priorities that all businesses will need to overcome. Our work goes beyond the physical space and addresses workplace practices, technology and people.

This document outlines the key findings from our RTO assessments. Download here.


Return To Safe Working

DeVono Cresa and Simmons & Simmons have co-authored this briefing document answering some of the most pertinent questions for businesses planning a phased return to work. This document brings together the joint expertise of these two firms in commercial property leasing and employment law, answering a series of questions regarding the government framework that employers need to abide by to make their workspace ‘COVID-19 secure, and a host of employment law considerations when planning a return to work.

This is a live document. It will be updated in accordance with announcements made by the UK government as they appear.

You can download the document here.

DeVono Cresa has summarised the new voluntary Code of Practice for the commercial property sector published by the UK Government. This Code aims to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect livelihoods and businesses. Though the Code is voluntary for now, the government has stated that this could be made mandatory, if necessary. The Code will apply until 24th June 2021, and has been developed in collaboration with industry leaders and affiliated associations and seeks to provide a guide for all concerned parties when discussing rental payments. For both landlords and tenants, the Code is designed to support ongoing dialogue and encourages all parties to work to the best mutual outcome.

You can read the full Code of Practice here.

The Code of Practice sits alongside other government measures related to commercial leases such as the moratorium on lease forfeiture or rent arrears recovery. It is worth noting that the Coronavirus Act 2020 will be amended to extend the moratorium on forfeiture for non-payment of rent until 30th September 2020. The moratorium against service of statutory demands / issue of winding up proceedings has also been extended to 30th September 2020.

You can download our summary document here.

Summary of the UK Government's 'COVID-19 secure' guidelines:

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COVID-19 FAQs For Occupiers

DeVono Cresa and Simmons & Simmons have co-authored this briefing document that answers some of the most frequently asked questions by businesses on a range of COVID-19 related challenges. This document brings together the joint expertise of these two firms in commercial property leasing and contract law, and answers a series of questions regarding leased premises, serviced office and coworking spaces, business rates, as well as government support schemes for businesses.

This is a live document. It will be updated in accordance with announcements made by the UK government as they appear.
 
You can download the document here.

Please get in touch on +44 (0)20 7096 9911 or contact our Head of Office Agency and Consultancy, Chris Lewis, at: cl@devonocresa.com or fill out the contact form.

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To view our on-going COVID-19 podcast series, which will include a range of informative content provided by our leadership team, visit our podcast library here.

 

DeVono Cresa joined by 60+ commercial property firms calling on the government to extend the business rates holiday

In March, we petitioned the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the rates holiday to businesses across all sectors. For many organisations, the suspension of business rates could be the difference between staying open and closing. Today, more than 60 firms from across our sector joined us in our campaign calling on the UK Government to take action to help companies up and down the country facing bankruptcy, as featured in our Letter to the Editor in the Financial Times. You can read the Financial Times report on this campaign here.

Related blogs:

Joint paper with Cripps Pemberton Greenish (Coronavirus – Consequences for Office Tenants):

https://www.crippspg.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/real-estate/consequences-for-office-tenants/

 

Please also see our highlights page of the UK government’s daily COVID-19 press briefing