“Lock up Runs” are increasing by the day by British ex-pats as they shut businesses on Spain’s Costa del Sol & Costa Blanca leaving landlords in despair with empty premises.
Landlords are in despair on Spain’s coasts as British ex-pat business owners pull down the shutters and run for home.
According to property owner Micheal Issac based in Puerto Banus at least 20 “Lock up and runs” are taking place per week leaving landlords with piles of legal red tape and further expense.
Issac, who’s taken 20 years building up his property empire in Spain, after making his first millions in the UK redeveloping properties and retail estates says landlords now are feeling the pain as the economic crisis hits after the Coronavirus pandemic. He also appeals to tenants to avoid locking and running and to instead be open with property owners of their plans, Issac said:
“I appeal to all ex-pat business owners to be open and frank with landlords and not to just “leg it” and disappear into the night doing a moonlight flit”
“The red tape it leaves behind is horrendous for us landlords, we can’t just take possession here in Spain and re-let out, it takes sometimes years to regain control of our own properties”
“At least 20 “lock and runs” as we call it are taking place now each week, tenants under pressure from rents and leases, as well as banks and town hall financial obligations feel the best option is to just pull down the shutters overnight and jump on the next flight home to what they feel is safety”
“Whilst it may be the easiest option for them, and I do feel sorry for their plight, it hasn’t been their fault Spanish business is crashing card, I urge everyone and not just my tenants to come forward so we can work out the lease and the easiest way to terminate it legally”
“We don’t care who you are running from, just don’t leave us the landlords in the lurch, business right now is tough enough for everyone”
As the lock-up and run syndrome increases across Spain by the week Issac tells how he fears more and more.
“Fuengirola port alone, 5 cases, up in Benidorm I know of 19 cases and many more elsewhere too, and it’s only going to increase I fear as more businesses fail through no fault of their own, yes Spain is in an awful financial position and it’s in my opinion only going to get worse until the middle of 2021, but have some consideration for the landlords you leave behind – many properties we won’t be able to re-let next year because we still won’t have got through the courts to regain possession of our own properties, Spanish law is far different to that of the UK”
“There’s no light at the end of the tunnel for many, I fully understand that totally, I have 80% of my remaining tenants on reduced payments, rather than lose them, I’m trying to assist but if you really feel the need to go because of the pressures, speak to us we aren’t going to bite but don’t just run for safety”
“I don’t just speak for myself, but all landlords across the coast”
Meanwhile today the Euro Weekly News spoke to a couple back in their hometown of Stratford gave their account after shutting up and catching the first-morning flight back to Birmingham airport, the couple who didn’t wish to be named for fear of reprisals told how they disagree:
“It’s all very well landlords saying that but they put the squeeze on for rent payments that added to the pressures, we had no choice like many others we know, the lockdown was a killer and then the restrictions made it even worse, landlords didn’t give breaks, they put the squeeze on, we didn’t know if we were coming or going, and the sleepless nights of thinking what to do or how we could face the next day were torture, as soon as we opened up in the morning everyone we owed money too was on the phone or calling in, including landlords, the squeeze and pressure tactics applied were just too much, we owed and still owe the Spanish bank 28,000 euros, Town Hall 4,000 euros, suppliers around a grand and rent was behind a few thousand too, there was no way we were going to pull it back all at once, nobody was giving breathing space – we had no choice to do as others lock up overnight and run for home,” they said
“We took a huge sigh of relief when we landed on home soil, we lost our 24k we paid out for the restaurant and bars lease but the release of the pressure now is immense”