The ancient common law “Distress for Rent” will be abolished to be replaced by CRAR on the 6th April 2014.
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The practical effects of CRAR are as follows:
The new regulations will still allow Landlords of Commercial premises to enter into the demised premises and size goods but only in certain circumstances
- The lease must be in writing.
- The rent arrears must be for minimum of 7 days.
- The debt can only be for RENT. Not for insurance, service charge or utility charges etc.
- The Enforcement Agent (formerly known as the Bailiff) must give 7 days formal written notice, (Enforcement Notice) to take control of Goods. If there is a real fear that the tenant will, during the 7 day period remove the goods to another location to avoid seizure, the landlord has to apply to court to have the 7 day notice period reduced.
After the notice period has expired enforcement agents can enter the demised premises and remove goods, between the hours of 6am and 9pm on any day. Enforcement agents can use reasonable force to enter premises but this does not include force or violence against persons. They may enter the premises without a warrant and if needs be, can apply to the court to get a warrant to use reasonable force to gain entry. They can also recover a tenant`s possession outside of the premises ie: by taking procession of a vehicle on a public highway.
These changes will have a serious impact on the ability for Landlords to recover Tenants arrears.