Back
Effective 1 June, we have a new address: 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QZ
Get in Touch Menu

Ending distress - introducing the new Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery or ‘CRAR’ process

18 December 2013

Category: Press releases, Commercial, Dispute resolution

Some time ago our property litigation partner, Nick Cox, wrote a piece on legal phrases which explained that in law ‘distress’ was a legal remedy available to landlords where tenants of commercial premises have defaulted in paying rent.

It is an ancient and often effective way of keeping tenants on the straight and narrow allowing the landlord to send in bailiffs to seize goods to the value of the arrears. But they will not be able to do so for much longer!

On 6 April 2014 distress will cease to be. Instead landlords will be able to use the snappily-named Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery or ‘CRAR’ process.

Why has it changed? And will it be as effective?

The change seems to have been driven by the need to rein in bailiffs from being heavy handed in executing their duties. This idea came in with legislation in 2007 and is only now being brought into force, but regulations will be needed to clarify some of the important issues.

As to its effectiveness, on the plus side, CRAR will be possible any day of the week from 6am to 9pm. Many commentators feel this is a small benefit when compared with the main change which may make the process much less effective. That is the requirement that a landlord must give the tenant notice that he intends to instruct bailiffs.

The main advantage of distress was that the bailiff would arrive unannounced. CRAR will require seven clear days (not counting Sundays and Bank Holidays) and will carry with it a right to challenge the notice. The opportunities for evading the bailiff are obvious. Some landlords may perhaps start buying shares in van hire companies!

From April 2014 distress is dead; long live CRAR. However, we doubt it will have such a long and useful reign. 

Contact
Willans
Solicitors
About
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

Why sole director companies should check articles of association

Corporate

A recent case has highlighted the importance of ensuring a company is incorporated with carefully drafted articles of association, if there is only one director. All limited companies must have…

Helen Howes LLM
Solicitor

Top tips for improving wellbeing in the workplace

Employment

A recent CIPD Health and Wellbeing at work survey has reported that most organisations are taking additional measures to support employee health and wellbeing, in response to COVID-19. Three quarters…

Jenny Hawrot LLB (Hons)
Partner

SCCs: New rules governing cross-border data transfers and data exchanges from the EU and EEA

GDPR & data protection

This September brings change to the use of standard contractual clauses (SCCs) governing data transfers from the EU and EEA. In June this year, the European Commission published two sets…

Kym Fletcher LLB (Hons) Euro
Consultant, solicitor
Contact us