Things got ugly the further along the review process unfolded…

As the chartered surveyor we hired made repeated attempts to contact the landlord’s agent weeks and months went by.  Meanwhile, the news regarding the economy got worse.  Here in west Cornwall we are largely still a rural economy with tourism being a main source of income.  Summers and holidays make the population double as second home owners and holiday-makers make their way to the outstanding natural beauty that is this part of England. 

I thought that the current economic news would impact the rent review amount.  I found out I was wrong.  The rent review would be determined from the rents agreed or paid in the six months previous to the date of the review.  So any commercial tenants who had agreed high rents in 2007 and 2006 would be causing an increased rent for us in  2008.

The more my husband and I thought about it the crazier we felt.  Could this be true?  Could the landlords get away with raising rents in a falling market? 

When you are on the High Street as a trader you have to respond to the changing market daily with fresh new products and signage and increased customer service.  As a shopkeeper we felt the pulse of Penzance in our every day life.  When we had a good day so did the lingerie shop down the street and the coffee shop around the corner.  When people came into town we all benefitted equally.  

I just assumed that the landlords in Penzance were a part of the loop and in the marketplace like the rest of us until the rent review.

It was then I began to get hurt and angry.  How could this be?  How come no one had noticed the inequities before in the commercial lease process?  How come no one had tried to change the lease code?

And so, I began asking LOTS of questions….and I found out more than I wanted to know.

I think human nature is wonderful — so many of us want to see the best in life and so we do.  But it does not serve us or anyone else to pretend the ugly parts of life do not exist.  It is up to us – one by one – to notice and do our bit for the good of us and for the community.

In my next post I will share what I found and how I started to see the picture…

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Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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