Telephone: 01242 861155
case

Case Studies

Case Study – Rent Review

Maple Leaf was instructed by a national multiple occupier to deal with outstanding rent reviews on a premises in North London from 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. The rent payable was £15,000pa with the landlord seeking increases for 1994 to £18,000, for 1998 to £26,000, for 2002 to £30,000 and for 2006 to £37,500.

1994 review

At the time of Maple Leaf’s appointment, this review was already approaching 12 years overdue and an Arbitrator had been appointed and on hold for over 10 years. After close liaison with the client’s solicitors, advice was given to apply for the Arbitration to be Struck Out for inordinate and prejudicial delay. The client approved this course of action and in late 2006, after exchange of representations, the Arbitrator issued his award Striking Out the Arbitration, effectively giving rise to a Nil Uplift rent review.

After further representations to the Arbitrator an Award of Costs against the landlord was made, securing the reimbursal to our client of the Arbitrator’s costs and of the majority of our own fees for pursing this matter on their behalf.

1998/2002/2006 reviews

The landlord owned a considerable amount of property in the vicinity but was not divulging full information in respect of rent reviews or lettings that provided comparable evidence. With most of the premises in the area occupied by local tenants, it was not possible to secure this information from usual sources and so an application was made to the Arbitrator, successfully, for an Order of Disclosure to be issued against the landlord. This produced a considerable amount of information that had not been previously divulged, including a large number of transactions which the landlord had put forward as comparable evidence but which were in fact Deemed Rents under restrictive rent review provisions. These should not therefore have been afforded value as comparable evidence.

On the basis of a now complete picture of evidence, offers to the landlord were made in order to protect our client against costs arising from the Arbitration and submissions for each of the three outstanding rent reviews were made to the Arbitrator.

Outcome

The Arbitrator issued his Award for each of the rent reviews at the following rents: -

  • 1998 review - £19,850
  • 2002 review - £23,540
  • 2006 review - £27,700

In this way we were able to save our client in excess of £100,000 over the relevant review periods.

Download this case study as a pdf

Case Study – Lease Renewals

Maple Leaf were instructed on behalf of the landlord of a shopping centre to assist in the reorganisation of leases within a market hall area, with a view to undertaking substantial redevelopment of this area in the short to medium term. As well as a number of market hall units, the area included a lease of a large unit that had been occupied for in excess of 15 years by a tenant which was known to want to vacate.

The client’s brief was to terminate and renew leases on a flexible basis, enabling them to proceed with the redevelopment works when ready to do so.

Major unit

On instructions from the landlord, the solicitors prepared a notice to terminate this lease at expiry. Upon receiving a copy of the notice to approve, we made amendments to protect our client from automatic liability for substantial statutory compensation and worked with them to identify alternative accommodation that would match the occupying tenant’s current acquisition criteria. We were thereby able to offer a feasible alternative unit to the tenant, in accordance with the provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. Whilst the tenant did not take up this alternative accommodation, by pursuing this course we successfully saved our client £174,000 in Statutory Compensation that they would otherwise have had to pay.

Market Hall units

Notices to terminate the various leases within the market hall were served and negotiations were entered into to provide temporary lettings, outside of the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. In this way we were able to ensure that the landlord could regain vacant possession to carry forward redevelopment work without undue delay. A number of tenants were relocated into alternative premises, which enabled the landlord to demolish two central blocks of 16 units, saving in excess of £75,000 per annum in void rates liability.

There were a number of leases that were not due to expire but upon which rent reviews were due and negotiations were entered into to convert these leases to occupations outside of the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. These negotiations were successfully concluded in all cases, enabling the landlord to carry forward his redevelopment plans in the knowledge that vacant possession of all of the units in the area could be secured.

Outcome

We were able to:-

  • provide the landlord with a continued income on the basis of flexible leases that would not obstruct their plans to redevelop when ready to do so;
  • relocate occupiers to eliminate surplus vacant space, saving the client in excess of £75,000 in annual void rates;
  • save the client £174,000 in statutory compensation by dealing with a substantial termination by careful application of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 principals.

Download this case study as a pdf

Case Study – Rating Appeal

Tim, was instructed by the landlord of a large urban shopping centre to appeal the basis of rateable value assessment on an extensive car park attached to the centre.

Strategy

As well as the reduction in the rateable value itself, Tim identified the opportunity to back date the revised rateable value to 2005 ensuring that the landlord and service charge account fully benefited from transitional relief as between the 2000 and the 2005 Rating List entries.

Outcome

A reduction in the rateable value of £60,000 was secured and this was successfully back dated to April 2005 to ensure transitional relief was also secured. As a result, a combined saving to the landlord and to the centre’s service charge account was secured of approximately £398,000, plus interest.

Download this case study as a pdf