By Dru Haynes
15th May 2021
Vacant shops present a problem to landlords for a variety of reasons not least due to the significant business rates they face paying on empty units and ongoing costs of insurance, maintenance, and security. Meanwhile Use Leases (MULs) are a Government-backed means of filling vacant shops on a temporary basis developed in light of the recent economic downturn.
The intention of MULs is to allow non-commercial tenants - charities, voluntary organisations, learning providers, local artists, etc - to occupy premises on a short-term basis for little or no rent, whilst at the same time providing the benefit of occupied property to landlords. A boost to the local high street is also a major driver behind the project with a push to increase footfall in declining areas with popular community-based projects.
Positives for tenants:
Positives for landlords:
A pop-up is a great way to take advantage of fleeting opportunities, test whether an idea is workable, and learn from direct experience. However usable business space is expensive, venture financing may be restrictive and intelligence on your potential market may be scarce, so creative forms are required. Running a temporary business can give you a chance to experiment, test the market and gain experience before making expensive investments.