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Virtual Tenancies: Process, Compliance and Opportunities.

July 29, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Virtual Tenancies: Process, Compliance and Opportunities.

29 July 2021.  12.00-13.15


The last UKSPA member survey found that around 40% of members offered, or were then proposing to offer, virtual tenancies. Sites that were already active ranged from those delivering a handful of VT’s to others with a virtual community of over 100 – they are variously seen as ways to retain contact with local business through to ensuring that as a business grows, it will have a preferred location in which to take physical premises. It is estimated that there are currently well over 1500 Virtual Tenancies (VT’s) in place across the UKSPA Network.

Though many parks have seen a strong return to the office, the impact of Covid-19 continues to mean that some businesses have not returned, and may be looking for ways to integrate home-working with a professional address for correspondence and calls, so even if a park or centre has not yet offered VT’s, there may be good reason to consider an offer now.

As those already operating VT services are aware, new operators will usually need to register with HMRC and comply with extensive ongoing compliance and monitoring requirements to exclude money laundering, and it’s clear HMRC are taking a far greater interest in such compliance, and have recently raised the MLR risk for VT’s to “high” and alerted operators to the potential for a leased unit to be retained, but left vacant, technically becoming an accidental VT.

Managing compliance and monitoring of your VT’s to satisfy HMRC and your site’s own reputation – from Know Your Customer style checks, including the ultimate beneficial owner, and the Money Laundering Regulations – are all issues that will be discussed at this UKSPA Member webinar.

The webinar will also look beyond the legal issues to demonstrate how members deliver their own virtual tenant programmes and the opportunities that these offer to engage with existing businesses and to connect with a potentially new group of entrepreneurs.

Speakers include:

Barry Sankey, Acuity Law

David Grindrod, University of Warwick Science Park

Lynn Nangle, St Johns Innovation Centre

Olivia Chatten, York Science Park