Licensee secures 48% rent cut from Enterprise

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rent review English-language films Licensee

'Absolutely ecstatic': Claire Bidwell and husband Barry
'Absolutely ecstatic': Claire Bidwell and husband Barry
A Sheffield licensee is “absolutely ecstatic” after managing to secure a rent reduction of almost 50% from Enterprise Inns.

At a September 2011 rent review, Claire Bidwell, licensee of the Old Crown in Hillsborough, was offered a reduction of £4,046 by Enterprise — from £58,046 down to £54,000.

David Morgan, of Morgan & Clarke chartered surveyors, advised Bidwell that a significant rent reduction was merited, and put together a full report of the pub’s financial details  that was presented to Enterprise as evidence. After further negotiation between Bidwell and Enterprise, the rent was reduced to £30,000 — almost half the original rent.

Speaking to the PMA, Bidwell said: “I am absolutely ecstatic about it. Licensees are always complaining that they can’t make ends meet but this just gives hope to other licensees, and shows what can be done.

“Now we will be able to plough some money back into the pub,” she added. “The jobs we couldn’t get done before we can now do, and all the contingency money had gone, so hopefully we will be able to get some of that back.

“It’s just knowing we don’t have to pay that extra few thousand pounds a month.”

Morgan, who advised Bidwell in the rent review process, said: “We felt that Claire merited this reduction because of the fact the rent was hugely high, and she was offered only a little bit off to start with.

“It was then left to Claire to battle it out and she did very well. She was satisfied she got the reduction she received, almost half the original rent. It is one of the largest cuts we have seen.”

Morgan added: “There are an awful lot of rents that are just OTT, up to 50% more than they should be in some cases. What is always completely forgotten is that the rent has to be affordable up until the rent review. You have to look at it and ask, ‘is it still going to be affordable in three years’ time?’.”

Enterprise said that it would not comment on individual cases.

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