Pot Boy North calling to me soft Southern friends from the frozen wastelands of God’s own beloved country, that’s Yorkshire to the likes of you and me ! Enterprise Inns lease being assigned for nowt all money to a fresh faced Red Rose pal, well reet proper Lancashire is not THAT bad, well, not all the time. All names and places deleted as the purchasing negotiations are still churning away !!
Anyroad, the following is a straight quote from page 3 of the Enterprise “Repairs to the Property” schedule, after the bit where it says that EI will provide a Want of Repair Schedule to the Assignor. That’s the poor skint sucker that’s floggin’ the lease.
“In the event that the assignor is unable to carry out the items in the Want of Repair Schedule, we may as a last resort invite you to enter into an Outstanding Repair Deed. The Outstanding Repair Deed is a contract that allows us to recover the cost of any repair items and any repairing covenants not completed from the original Want of Repair Schedule. These costs will be collected on the Provisional Completion Statement. Enterprise Inns will then take full responsibility for the delivery of these outstanding works once you have taken over the premises.”
First off, the lease, like all of them wi’ Enterprise is a full repairing obligation, “to put and keep in sound repair and condition “no less. Second, it’s the seller that is supposed to bring the place up to proper condition inside and out BEFORE you take over. Third, there is no time schedule by when the works (if done by Enterprise) are supposed to be done. Fourth, it is Enterprise’s responsibility to ensure that the place is handed over in proper condition on THE DAY OF CHANGE. Why? Because you are paying full rent for a building that is by definition in a defective state of repair. So let’s hold up just there.
How do you know that Enterprise’s surveyor has identified all the repairs that need doing. In this case PBs pal had his own independent survey undertaken. Best money he has ever spent. Total heap of repairs the Enterprise man had missed. So this new “Schedule of Condition” is what really needs doing. If my pal signed the Outstanding Repair Deed, he would have confirmed that the required works were the only ones needed. So if in say a year, something else needs fixing, that was self evident when he purchased, well the cost is down to him, not Enterprise or the previous tenant. Get the picture??
If the seller does not fulfil the total schedule of works, the Enterprise MUST ensure the works are done (no timeframe mentioned) and deduct the cost from deposit held from the previous tenant. If there is not enough in the pot, well then that just tough on Enterprise as they should never have allowed the place to backslide so quick. It is NOT the responsibility of the purchaser to take over the repairs that are required say a year or so down the tracks. DO NOT BE CONNED into taking over what at last resort is down to Enterprise or the previous tenant.
This bit about “at last resort we may invite you…”carries a nasty sting in the tail. It was made crystal clear to mi pal that if he didn’t accept “the invitation” it would start off the relationships between the Company and him on a less than favourable footing. Read into that what you will!! Oh and they were far from keen to entertain the existence of an independently prepared Schedule of Condition which by its very nature shows up the Enterprise lad as being, well less than up to the job like..
The quoted clause is far from clear as to who it is will ultimately have to stand the cost of repairs. In theory, it’s the seller or Enterprise, certainly not you the purchaser. Whose provisional Completion Statement are they referring to, the Purchaser or the Seller? No its far from clear other than Enterprise have not guaranteed that the purchaser will NOT be liable for continuing and outstanding repairs that should have all been sorted out or properly identified on the hand over day.
Self protection is vital. GET A SURVEY DONE. Don’t accept that the schedule served on the departing tenant is infallible. Often it’s done in a hurry and misses a load of work that will always be the responsibility of you the new tenant.
As ever a glorious pint of Timmy Taylor beckons. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, the dray came today thank heavens,
Pot Boy North.
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The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and statements being made, they are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.