Our lease consultancy team is instructed to act on behalf of the Co-operative Group in respect of their Landlord and Tenant work throughout the North of England. This is a multi-office instruction with the work being serviced from our Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Teesside offices. The portfolio includes the Co-operative Group’s pharmacy, travel, funeral and food units.
We have held this instruction since January 2009 and have obviously concluded a number of rent reviews and lease renewals since that time. However, of particular note were the two August 2009 rent reviews on the food stores at Market Place, Bedale and Ainderby Road, Northallerton that were both referred for Independent Expert determination during 2011.
Both leases provided for reviews to be upwards only to the higher of open market value or a minimum fixed increase set out in the rent review clauses. In both cases the landlord contended that market value was in excess of the specified fixed figure. We disputed this assessment and made the recommendation to proceed with a third party referral on each case. The best possible outcome was achieved as independent experts ruled that rent should be placed at the minimum figure for both properties.