Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drat! Yet another setback with the new shop

Solicitors phoned today to say they'd just received the documentation concerning the "licence to assign" from the owner of the freehold (the Prudential). This is a legal necessity to give the current tenants permission to sell the existing lease to us and both the solicitor and I were pretty unhappy that they are only now — six months into the process — asking that we not only provide bank references, but also a guarantor of rent payment.

We offered proof that we have sufficient funds to cover lease payments to the current tenants right at the start, but this is completely fresh, and looks as if it may completely throw a spanner in the works. The Prudential probably hope that the National RSPCA will agree to underwrite our payments with their own funds — which legally I don't think they can as it would be diverting charity donations given for another purpose. Devoted as I am to the branch, I'm not prepared to use my house as a guarantee, and I don't think any of the rest of us should either.

I suppose this is happening because the Prudential are getting nervous about possible rent defaulting in the current economic situation. If something similar is going on with other shops it's not surprising that so many are empty around Cambridge.

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