Coronavirus closure period FAQs
For Meanwhile Space Tenants
As of 1st April 2020.
We have compiled this for tenants following the calls we made to everyone at the end of March. We hope that this answers all of the questions that you had. Some questions were very specific and we will be in touch again with a specific answer during the next week.
Following the temporary closure of our sites due to the movement restrictions we are now operating a skeleton staff. Please be reassured that we have been fully updated on things by our wonderful colleagues. Please bear with us we will get back to you as soon as we can.
The Meanwhile Space Team
Contacting Meanwhile Space
How do I get in touch with Meanwhile Space during April because the site project manager isn’t working?
We are operating a skeleton staff during April. Please email email@example.com in the first instance. One of us will get back to
you as soon as we can.
Is it ok if I pop into my space and work if I need to?
No, we have closed spaces, as advised by the government. Once the current restrictions on movement have been lifted, we will contact you with an opening date.
Is it ok to pop into my space to collect things?
Yes, in some circumstances. If you need to collect stock or equipment left there please let Alex or Pete know of your intention to visit the space. They need to know that you are visiting and when. They can let you know if there is any reason why you cannot go.
Is it possible to get post redirected?
Anyone can set up a redirection service for post with the Post Office. We suggest you do this if you get lots of post. However, Pete and Alex will be visiting sites, can let people know if there is post for them and redirect it if you give a forwarding address. If you would like this you must give your address to us. This will be used solely for this purpose and removed from our records once the closure period is ended.
Are there any changes in security during close down?
Each project and site is different. Someone should have explained the situation for your site to you. Please get in touch if you have any specific questions or if your insurance has any specific questions.
My insurance company has asked for information about the shut down period, what should I tell them?
We are happy to talk to you about the specifics of your insurance. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Does the 1-day notice period also apply to Meanwhile Space as landlord?
No. Meanwhile Space leases with the owners and landlords of our propertiesstay the same. We have reduced all notice periods to 1 day so that you as our tenants would not be charged for 1 months extra rent at this time. Since offering this we have offered all tenants a rent-free period. We will review the 1-day notice in the coming months. Should we need to return a space to the landlord we will give all tenants as much notice as possible.
My lease is due to renew in April/May. What are the options for renewal?
We are aware of all leases due to expire in the coming weeks. We will be in touch during the two weeks before your lease ends to discuss options. We are working toward digital leases in the very near future.
Are there terms that reflect the current situation?
No. At present we don’t think there will be any need to change the lease or licence terms. If there is a rent-free period we can reflect this in the lease/licence.
Should I cancel my standing order?
Yes that would be best. We have limited staff to manage repayments.
I’ve paid April rent by standing order can I get my money back?
When we see a payment we will reconcile the account. If you have overpaid we will call you for your bank details and arrange to make the payment to you within 20 working days. As we have a skeleton staff finance operations are also limited.
Will service charge payments be increased on return to cover missed months?
We hope not but in some cases it might be unavoidable. Our service charge is based on estimate for the year ahead. We have reduced services in the sites where we can and expect there will be a saving on some utilities and waste collection. However reopening may have costs that are unavoidable such as deep cleaning. We will keep a close eye on services costs and update all tenants as soon as we can.
Some sites are near a yearend anyway and had anticipated service charge increase. If this is the case you will be contacted soon.
Will Meanwhile Space offer a longer rent-free period if the lock-down continues?
Meanwhile Space is a small business, just like those of our tenants. Our profit margins aren't comparable with traditional landlords, or with Local Authority and this situation is putting pressure on us. We made a swift decision to close sites and offer the month of April rent-free to all tenants across all of our sites. Beyond April, we are taking things one month at a time; we are reviewing the situation and do not know what will happen. We will get in touch with all tenants as soon as we are able to make decisions.
We are working very closely with our Local Authority partners and in some cases we have been able to increase the rent-free period for tenants already. We are keeping all tenants updated on the specifics of their site.
I'm in a position to pay my rent, should I?
We are very aware that different businesses will have different situations. If you are able to continue paying your rent and service charge this will help us and consequently other tenants, too. It will help us get things up and running more quickly, once the period of social distancing is relaxed. That said, we are aware that pressures come at different times. We encourage all tenants to keep in touch with us and discuss their situation because we know how things can change rapidly in these times.
Can Meanwhile Space help with accessing the government’s business support and grants?
We will share as much information as we can from the Local authorities we work with. We believe a large number of tenants will be eligible for the small business grants. These are managed by the Local authority through the business rates system and you should be contacted soon. However, we know that some of you will not be eligible. We are doing everything within our power to access support for you and your business.
What other help is available?
We have, however, learnt a lot over the last two weeks. All funding and grants come with their own conditions. We are not able to endorse any funding stream and currently are as in need of these as our tenants. Please see below for some support which may be relevant to you. We will keep this updated as we find out more.
Business loans, grants and information
Arts Council - Creative and digital industries funding
Institute of Directors - Business resilience advice