Cedar Dean Group CEO, David Abramson, gives a passionate plea for property professionals and landlords to take a deep look inside themselves.
This month marks the date upon which the ‘Rating List’ will once again be re-valued and this will be based upon rents, as of this year, coming into effect in 2017. Rents in the West End have taken on a most dramatic upturn in the last 24 months and we are now seeing landlords quoting – and sometimes achieving – as much as a 100% increase at rent review. This rent increase is quite simply unsustainable for most operators. Moreover, this is not the end of the problem as within two years the rates payable for these properties will also increase to the same extent, making the problem even worse.
We believe that in the long-term these rent increases are potentially very detrimental to businesses but more significantly – and perhaps not so obviously – to the landlords themselves as the trend could lead to longer term vacancies based on over rented property. What we have seen over the past 18 months is that the market is being goaded by a handful of overzealous rent review surveyors who are attempting to bleed the market dry without any consideration as to how the business is trading or the economic future for the landlord, the tenant or business owner. We have witnessed how this lack of forward planning and greed is a cocktail for disaster in the long run.
It is at this point that we urge landlords to rein in these rent review surveyors and to look at a business’s turnover and profits before affecting these rent review triggers. The potential impact of these increases in rent is clearly an increase in costs of food and drink which makes a well-priced market less attractive. Our business is committed to understanding operators and helping both landlords and tenants to grow with mutual benefit, rather than one party crucifying the other. It’s a scary time when a member of our team quotes a surveyor as using the term “revenge time” when performing a rent review for a tenant.
This is not the attitude of professional, long-term thinking landlords, so we urge them to stand up to these actions for the sake of the long-term stability of our successful and exciting West End market.