Wednesday, November 06, 2013
From Camberwell Online 30/03/2013
I’m the guy who took on the tied lease in 1995 and subsequently described as the landlord in a post by Dagmar.
When my rent went up 68% in 2000 and I owed Scottish & Newcastle £22,000 back rent immediately, the impact nearly bankrupted the business and me. So I vowed not to be beaten without a proper fight by the Rachmanesque Landlord, Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company the next time I faced a rent review.
I prepared well for the 2005 rent review, where they wanted to increase it from £54K to £82.5K. I dug my heels in and consequently it went to Arbitration, and then High Court, and then back to Arbitration, then to Appeal and back to the Arbitrator. That point took over three years to reach, October 2008, when the arbitrator decided to ‘GO’ with the pub company and posed me with a back rent bill of £125+K immediately owing.
So, then I told S&NPC that I could not pay the bill — as I had predicted all along — and they should evict me. They simply ignored this and I started paying the increased rent — £1,650 a week — and business began to suffer immediately but S&N didnt’ take action — probably because they were getting the increased rent plus three or so grand a week out of me for beer orders.
Eventually I started buying out of tie and not paying rent — I had no option — it was the only way I could pay my other suppliers, robbing S&N to pay Paul Peter Mary and Susan. All my other suppliers were paid up to date until I was kicked out.
Eventually S&NPC evicted me on 23 September 2011 which made me homeless. Subsequently on 24 October 2011 HMRC bankrupted me which made me relieved.
S&NPC told me they had a ‘small multiple operator’ very interested in taking on the pub.
Before I was evicted S&N prevaricated about paying for the fixtures and fittings in the pub, such as the bar, the kitchen equipment, the fixed seating and lamp shades etc, which were owned by a lease hire company to whom I paid rent. The leasing company did not trust S&NPC to pay them and, since S&NPC had an eviction order for a fixed date at which point I would be ejected and locked out — the company regarded it essential to secure its assets — and the pub was stripped of all trade effects and fixtures and fittings.
Consequently S&NPC could not pass the pub on to the ‘small multiple operator’ without spending, conservatively, £300K on bringing it up to code, and they boarded it up and installed 24/24 residential security who, like S&NPC seemed unable to organise a pissup in a brewery.
Consequently now the pub is being squatted.
The rumour is that Antic (Tiger; EDT etc) is now talking to S&N about buying the freehold.
The garden at The Sun and Doves is SSE facing and the forecourt gets sun until quite late in the evening at this time of year.