Longbeck Road, Marske by the Sea, Redcar – October 2009

This former car dealership and fuel forecourt is held on a lease that was acquired by Top Spot Services (Marske) Ltd from receivers in 2007. There was a rent review in February 2009 and we were instructed by Top Spot to act.

The long lease is from 1967 and there have been further supplemental leases and deeds of variations between then and November 2003. The rent payable form 2002 was £15,000 per annum and the landlord proposed a new rent of £50,000 per annum. For obvious reasons, the client was extremely concerned with the landlord’s proposal.

The problem was made worse by the fact that the property was acquired from a receiver and there was very little documentation or information made available at the time of purchase.

After considering the leases we carried out extensive research and established that the property originally demised in 1967 was only 3,600 sq ft whereas the existing building is around 13,300 sq ft. We established that approximately 10,000 sq ft of the accommodation was a “tenant’s improvement” which had to be disregarded for the purposes of assessing the rent at review. After considerable negotiation we convinced the landlord’s surveyor that, if the rent review was referred to an arbitrator, our argument would win. We managed to agree the rent at £20,000 per annum, which was only 40% of the landlord’s proposed figure.

David Penny of Top Spot Services (Marske) Ltd commented “when we first approached Andy Tucker we were considering one or two other surveyors to act for us. However, Andy very quickly convinced us that we should stick with him because he has dealt with many similar complicated cases, which most surveyors don’t really get to grips with”.

“We were extremely concerned when we received the landlord’s proposal and knew that we had to put our trust in someone that would fight for us all the way. The outcome was a fantastic result. It has given us peace of mind because three quarters of the property actually belongs to us and not the landlord. This has also set a precedent for all future rent reviews”.

“Professional fees are always an issue, but on this occasion Andy managed to deal with the legal and valuation side of things without the need for solicitor or barrister fees, which we thought we might have to pay as well. What Andy charged was negligible compared with the saving that he has achieved on this and the future rent reviews”.

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