June 2020

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Help local Rotary Club find new ways to support the community

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The Rotary Club of Leytonstone and Woodford are keen to welcome new members to progress their charity work in the local community and further afield.

“Despite the cancellation of two major fundraising events, our club continues to meet via Zoom and find ways to help the community at large, and we are still making important decisions benefiting charities… One of the heart-warming aspects to the present crisis has been the amazing public response to support our wonderful NHS,” said Rotarian John Bracken.

Call 020 3597 2921

Features

Tenant, landlord & COVID-19

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Whether you are a commercial tenant or landlord, the current COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to businesses. Callum Hall and Ashley Chambers from local solicitors Wiseman Lee report

This article will provide general advice to both commercial tenants and landlords on the Coronavirus Act 2020, developed by the UK Government in response to the pandemic and the effect this has had on commercial leases.

The main issue for many tenants is affording to pay rent on a commercial property which is forced to shut and not generating any income. The act, which came in to force on 25 March, provides commercial tenants with protection from eviction on grounds of non-payment of rent until 30 June (which can be extended by the government). Under the act, rent includes any sum which a tenant is liable to pay under the lease, so it includes service charges and insurance premiums. The protection applies whether the tenant’s failure to pay rent is caused by COVID-19 or for any other reason.

Commercial tenants are therefore able to avoid paying rent for the March quarter until the end of June, without the landlord issuing forfeiture proceedings. In addition, when it comes to renewing the lease at the expiry of the term, the landlord cannot refuse to grant a new lease on grounds of failure to pay rent, where the failure to pay relates to the protected time period above.

Many landlords and tenants are having conversations and reaching agreements about quarter payments which are due in June and September, but it is recognised that businesses may struggle with cash flow due to COVID-19. A solicitor can negotiate directly with a landlord on behalf of a tenant for rental holidays or concessions.

As mentioned, the moratorium on possession and statutory demand claims will cease on 30 June (if not extended). This does not preclude any contractual interest which is due or any monetary claims. The next quarters’ rent is due on 24 June.

Landlords should think commercially on their next steps. Forfeiture may not be their best route if debt is owed. If a lease is forfeited, no future rent payments can be collected. So, it is wiser to help the tenant through the current crisis. Landlords should speak to their tenant, understand their business and what they are capable of paying.

Landlords could also offer a deferred payment. Remembering it is in their best interests to keep their current tenant solvent. If the tenant goes bust, then they will have an empty property and most likely have to go through the insolvency process, where they are unlikely to receive the whole amount of any sums owed.

Landlords will also need to assess how quickly they can remarket their property and get a new tenant in.

Wiseman Lee is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. Call 020 8215 1072 or 020 8215 1102
News

Editor’s update: June 2020 issue

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As the father of two young children, I know only too well the value of having two of everything. One red ball and one blue ball? Arguments will follow. One teddy and one doll? A recipe for chaos. One bag of sweets to share? You get the picture. Sharing may be caring, but kids simply don’t care about that! Sharing is a vital life skill and, like most skills, takes time to master, so continue we must with duplicate toys and treats.

Last month, I asked Wanstead and South Woodford to share this magazine, and I do so again this month. Our way of overcoming the commercial and logistical obstacles imposed by the current crisis. Our way of maintaining our contribution to a united community. Our way of caring.

Of course, I can’t pursue this analogy without juxtaposing my squabbling offspring with the mental image of crowds of Wanstead and Woodford residents tearing this publication in two as they each claim it belongs to them. And I certainly wouldn’t attempt such a crass comparison, not least because there’s only room on the naughty step for two.

But on a (slightly) more serious note, as much as I enjoy the somewhat poetic nature of combining two community publications during these difficult times, I enjoy more the unique identity of our postcode divides. The need for some deadheading of marigolds in E18 and the establishing of a wild flower meadow in E11 are very similar stories, but of very different interest levels depending on where you live. So, as we all continue to adapt to a new normal, please continue to share your sweets for now.

Copies will not be delivered to homes for the time being (visit swvg.co.uk/cv for an explanation on this decision), but every effort has been made to provide as many residents with a copy as possible, via our network of distribution stands in supermarkets.
News

Artist helps the homeless by painting portraits of local houses

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Local artist Karen Humpage has been raising funds for charity by painting house portraits.

“I started painting architecture after visiting London’s historic cemeteries, and was inspired to paint some of the ornate and crumbling monuments… I get just as much enjoyment from painting people’s homes, particularly those with period details and traditional brickwork,” said Karen, who has donated £5 from every commission to The Corner House Project in Wanstead, an initiative which supports the homeless.

Visit wnstd.com/kh

News

Harry Kane supports Haven House in Leyton Orient shirt deal

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Haven House Children’s Hospice has been chosen as a charity beneficiary in a sponsorship deal between Harry Kane and Leyton Orient.

As well as sponsoring the shirts for the 2020/21 season, the England star has also donated the fee to three good causes, including the Woodford Green charity, which will appear on the club’s away kit. “The hospice will receive huge coverage during the season… and 10% of the proceeds of each shirt sale will be passed to the charities,” said a spokesperson.

Visit swvg.co.uk/kane