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BEWARE Landlord`s `Service Charge`

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As I`m in a shopping centre ,I get a `Service charge` tacked on to my quarterly rent ...

I`ve Just been slapped with 10 years of `Re-assesments` of all previous years (quite legal apparently as service charge is estimated and you pay up front)

....and my current bill is £3,500.

I`ve got my accountant and solicitor onto this and I can`t deny it`s a worry...but hey ho! - to use a popular current phrase `It is what it is`

Yet again it`s the independants that suffer - someone like Asda or Peacocks (who are around me) would just pay it.... and apparently its a common money making tactic of these large shopping centres when times are tough.


I`ll keep you posted.

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We had a similar thing happen to us with another shop we owned.


21 year lease with a rent review every 7 years (we also had the option of another 21 years), it was council owned to start with and the first review happened and it increased a small amount. Then it swapped hands 3 different times before the 14 year review. This came and went with nothing being said. Then after 20 years and 6 months they said they had finally done the 14 year rent review and we owed them £18,000.


They then offered us a deal, no renewel of lease and they would forget the £18,000 but the rent would go up from £3000 a year to over £5000 but they could at any time serve us with 1 months notice to quit but we had to give them 6 months notice.


So we carried on at the new rates then they wanted over £8000 a year for the rent at that point we gave notice and packed up, the shop was no longer proffitable and was becoming a drain on our turnover.


Luckily we own the shop which we have always had so we don't have any problems like this anymore.

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Feel slightly angry at your predicament. Independent tenants often get shafted.

My last but one rent review, my rent doubled and was back dated, two years. Got a bill for £19000. Always paid my rent on time, how could they charge me that. But it was all fully legal. In the end paid £6000. As you say ." It is what it is!"

I really felt they should have taken me out on a date before f****** me.

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We have 2 shops and we have sub-let the 1st {to a barber} as we still have 2 years left on the Lease.

 I spent hours reading both of these lease's until I understood them inside out.

I wouldn't take on a premises unless I was 110% sure it was water tight and I agreed with its content.

No guesstimates. Its all black and white.

I wont be getting any surprises when the 1st lease is up and I explained to my tenant what would be  expected of him before he gets his deposit back from me.

 The current shop we work from has a break clause in a coup[le of years time and I will be going over it again then just to refresh and make me feel nice and cosy.

I have been lucky, both of my landlords have been human beings. As for the 2nd one's solicitor, she was a proper dickhead but eventually both partie's agreed to the amended lease.

It took nearly a year but I aint signing anything that may come back and bite me in 10 years time.

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Surly you were told about this when you took out the lease, or your solicitor at the time should have pointed it out?

TBF, all centres charge a service charge,

Yep we knew about the service charge - and its always on the quarterly rent bill as a separate add on (both of which I always pay) .....no these are `re-assesments` of the service charge I`ve already paid ...,literally a `pulled out of thin air rethink`

...Like charging a customer for a Leather sole ....then knocking his door 2 years later ,and saying `Ive had a re-think .....its another fiver for the work I did 5 years ago`

....and best of all its completely legal !

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Luckily we own the shop which we have always had so we don't have any problems like this anymore.

I own my shop too...............Was a good idea to buy it at the time because it was cheaper than renting it......................But at 63 (I feel Iv'e got some years left in me yet) I'm wondering what to do with it....Sell it as a going concern or gut the place and sell it....or rent it.

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