The WeWork model is not atypical when it comes to ownership of property.
In 2010, the government pledged to deliver broadband to “every community in the UK” by 2015, but nine years later this target has still not been achieved.
According to the latest Deloitte crane survey, activity in the office sector continues apace, with 3.5m sq ft started in London alone over the six months to May – a 38% increase on the previous survey last autumn.
The fragility of the retail sector poses a real difficulty for landlords in protecting the value of their assets. Many retail leases include keep-open covenants but enforcement can be problematic with only limited options available: seeking an injunction, claiming damages or forfeiting the lease.
Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) withdrew its appeal against the High Court ruling that its lease was still valid and Brexit did not operate to frustrate it.
When William Hill announced that it was consulting with landlords over plans to close 700 betting shops, other big retail bookmakers such as GVC Holdings (parent company of Ladbrooks Coral) and Betfred made similar noises. This follows the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
Since the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group first convened last year, details of its deliberations have been scant. However, the group is now preparing to share its report – an important development in the government’s leasehold and sector reform agenda.
The government’s reported plans to merge high street use classes raises questions about the use class system as a whole.