No. 1 Whitehall - Succesful rent review on behalf of Pret A Manger (Europe)

Pret A Manger Whitehall

The Challenge

blackstanniland received an instruction to handle a rent review on behalf of Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited in relation to a prominent retail shop facing directly onto Trafalgar Square. The location is highly sought after, however there are numerous physical factors affecting the property.

Key Points

  • Negotiations were instigated by the landlord’s agent who quoted a substantial increase compared to the rent passing of £115,000 pa.
  • Upon our inspection of the property, we found it to be a small retail unit on the corner of Charing Cross and Whitehall, of virtually triangular configuration. There were structural steps leading up into the ground floor sales accommodation. The basement accommodation was accessible only via a hatch positioned in the centre of the customer sales area. We therefore returned to fully inspect the basement out of normal trading hours. This involved descending a steep spiral staircase and using a torch (there is no lighting installed because the basement is the subject of frequent floods).
  • Once we had collated the comparable evidence, it became apparent that when making allowances for the above physical factors, the property was fully rented at the effective review date. After negotiations became protracted, we recommended to our client that a Calderbank be issued at nil increase and an RICS application be submitted for the appointment of an Arbitrator.

The Result

After further negotiation, and with an Arbitrator in the process of being appointed, the parties agreed to settle the matter at nil increase. The rent review was formally documented at the rent passing without the need to incur the significant costs involved in proceeding to Arbitration.

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