A so-called "pre-pack" is a fast-track administration that avoids a failing business being sold on the open market. An insolvency practitioner instead lines up an advance purchaser to take over the profitable parts of the business, with the company going into administration simultaneously.
The British Property Federation (BPF) is launching a pre-pack questionnaire to help get answers for landlords. Administrators are bound by the Insolvency Service, their governing body, to provide the answers which the questionnaire aims to elicit.
Graham Horne, deputy chief executive said: "There is still a fair way to go to ensure that creditors receive the information they need in a timely manner. We will be looking to strengthen SIP 16 to ensure it gives creditors what they want."
The property industry’s pressure follows a spate of high profile pre-packs including Allied Carpets last week and a high-profile company voluntary agreement involving JJB Sports in May.
The BPF document, designed by law firm Lovells LLP, gives landlords standard questions for the administrator to help uncover information about the identity of the buyer of the property, their intentions for the property, and whether the insolvent tenant's lease has been re-assigned (without permission) to the buyer.
The answers to these questions will help the landlord understand the state of play with his property or properties and could offer ammunition - in select cases - to challenge the decision to pre-pack.
Ronan Faherty, commercial director, Land Securities said: "A property company's imperative is to see his customers survive and we support a rescue culture for companies in financial difficulties. However, following a pre-pack administration a property company is often in the grim position of knowing little about the intentions of the new occupier of his properties.
"Uncertainty is generally bad for any business and in this instance can harm other retailers in an existing scheme. This questionnaire will assist us in gaining clarity to make informed business decisions, which will ultimately benefit the whole industry."