The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. It aims to support the government's commitment to reducing geographical disparities between different parts of the UK and to create neighbourhoods where people want to live and work.
As part of these aims, it seeks to revitalise high streets and town centres, restoring ‘pride in place’; peoples' sense of community, local pride and belonging. In Part 10 it gives powers to councils to work with landlords to bring empty high street premises back to use through high street rental auctions, ‘breathing life into empty high streets’.
Any mortgagee of the relevant premises is deemed to consent to any contract for tenancy entered into with a ‘successful bidder’ in the auction process. In our previous articles which considered the draft legislation for Part 10, we highlighted some potential issues in relation to lending transactions secured, or to be secured, on high street premises which are or may become vacant.
Of note are the bypassing of a lender's ability to review the credentials of a prospective new tenant and the fact agreed covenants may be ignored. Now that the Act has received Royal Assent, we link to the articles below, noting that the exclusion for occupation by a ‘trespasser’ from the ‘vacancy condition’ has been removed from the legislation, subsequent to our original article.