Who can legally implement CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery)?

From April 2014 a new statutory process has made it much easier for commercial landlords to recover rent arrears.

The new process, Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery, known as CRAR means that, if you are a commercial landlord who satisfies the criteria laid out in the process, you can make use of CRAR to take control of a tenant’s goods and sell them to recover your rent arrears.

I’m a landlord of commercial premises and my tenant owes rent, can I take control of my tenant’s goods?

NO, a landlord cannot legally implement CRAR by themselves.

Although CRAR is designed to help landlords to recover rent arrears this does not give landlords themselves the right to

  • enter the commercial property that the tenant occupies and take control of the tenant’s goods OR
  • to sell the tenant’s goods

However, it does mean that the landlord can appoint an enforcement agent to do this on his behalf.

Why an enforcement agent?

An enforcement agent (formerly known as a bailiff) is a trained professional who is certified by the Court, giving them the power to, amongst other activities, take control of a debtor’s goods.

So what can an enforcement agent do?

The enforcement agent will check that the debt meets the CRAR criteria and, if it does, the landlord can appoint the enforcement agent to act on his behalf.

The enforcement agent will then follow a set statutory procedure (Part 3 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007) so that the landlord can be sure that

  • the enforcement agent will properly understand and comply with the complex process, which includes serving notices and ensuring powers are only exercised at appointed days and times
  • no exempt goods will be recovered
  • the enforcement agents will use their powers to enter into a controlled goods agreement (CGA) with the tenant and/or sell the recovered goods
  • recovered goods will be sold in compliance with the notices and criteria of the CRAR process.

If you are a commercial landlord and want to know more about the CRAR process contact one of the certified enforcement agents at Able Investigations and Enforcements on 0845 3707 401.

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