Unusual Office Refurbishment/Development Opportunity

Squires is a former house with an attractive garden now largely overgrown and a swimming pool. Since 1998 it has been used as offices. The building has fallen into some disrepair but offer considerable scope for a buyer who is looking for something of project, wants their own office headquarters, good parking and possibly potential to construct an industrial building on the site either adjoining the main building or separate to it. Planning consent would be required.

There are 15 rooms plus a kitchenette on the ground floor, some 2,716 sq ft, together with 3 rooms at 1st floor making a total overall of 3,163 sq ft. There is an extensive yard ideal for parking cars, lorries, vans etc. with some 20 spaces plus. There is also a large garden, somewhat overgrown, with a couple of rather fine trees together with a neglected swimming pool.

This is in a very good location being only 1.2 miles from the A22 junction at Halland and 2 miles from Uckfield town centre. It benefits from fine views northwards. Offers in the region of £260,000 + VAT are being sought for the freehold.

Workshop/Storage Unit With Good Height

Lawson Commercial have been instructed to market a spacious unit in Apex Park, Hailsham which is just over 2,500 sq ft on the ground floor with a 1st floor office and small mezzanine store making just over 3,600 sq ft in total. The great thing about these units in Apex Park is their higher than average height and this unit has an eaves height of 29 ft at the front with a full height roller shutter door. It is thus ideal for someone who wants to use the premises for pallet racking. It is available on a new lease at a rent of £19,500 pa.

Ideal For Business Startups

Lawson Commercial have been instructed to market two ground floor business units at Cysleys Farm on the Eastbourne Road in Uckfield. Each unit is self-contained and of around 350 sq ft, one being open plan and the other being partitioned. The units are ideal for those who want a small office and some storage. It would also be a good place for a physiotherapy or chiropractic premises. There is excellent car parking and the units are available together or separately at a rent of £370 per calendar month per unit.

Price Reduction At Laughton

To encourage an early occupation of a high quality office and business unit at the Stonecross Business Centre in Laughton the terms have been reduced.  A new 5 year lease is available starting at a rent of £10,000 per annum which is around £3 per sq ft rising over 5 years to an average rent of £12,000 per annum which is only £3.50 per sq ft for this first class space. It is a slightly unusual unit as it has been fitted out internally as high quality offices on the ground floor together with a 600 sq ft store and a 1st floor meeting room plus further open plan storage. In total there is some 3,400 sq ft available overall at a very competitive rent. Alternatively the freehold can be bought for £225,000 – again sensibly priced in today’s market.

Town Centre Development Site Sold

Lawson Commercial have sold Maltmead Cottage in Olives Yard, Uckfield to a local investor/developer. Maltmead Cottage is an interesting building having been used for offices and residential in its past life but has lain empty for some 10 years and needs complete refurbishment. It sits in a site of about 0.15 acres right in the heart of Uckfield and could be used for either residential or commercial activities.

Jeremy’s Jottings

When I began my career life was so simple. An average lease was around 20 pages long, I used to know all my tenants and if a tenant couldn’t be coaxed into clearing arrears an informal visit from the bailiff would usually lead to monies becoming available.

Now as a rule leases are at least 50% longer, I don’t know all my tenants and from April 2014 the right to recover arrears of rent for commercial premises is to be replaced with Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR).

I have already mentioned one of the key points of CRAR in that it only applies to rent arrears due under lease of commercial premises. CRAR cannot be used for premises that are either occupied or let as a dwelling, which may include premises in mixed use.

CRAR will only apply to a “tenancy” as evidenced in writing. As it appears extremely rare to come across tenancies which are not in writing this would not appear to be an issue.

CRAR will only be available in respect of arrears of “basic” rent, together with VAT and interest on the basic rent. I have to admit I am very surprised to find and consider it illogical that CRAR will not be available for service charge arrears, insurance charges or rates even if these sums are reserved as “rent” in a lease. This raises the question where does this leave inclusive rents?

Something I find really strange, if not baffling, is that landlords will be required to serve a “notice of enforcement” on the tenant before sending in enforcement agents. Seven clear days notice will need to be given. Landords will be able to apply to a court to ask that the notice period is reduced if they believe that there is a serious risk of tenants removing the goods. It’s going to be interesting to see how many applications are made asking that the notice period is reduced and how the courts will consider such matters. With the element of surprised lost how many times are enforcement agents going to be instructed to attend only to discover the tenant has either moved all his goods of value or disappeared altogether?

The final key change is that only an enforcement agent authorised in writing by the landlord can seize goods, landlords themselves will no longer be able to carry out the distraint.

Where does all of this leave us? If nothing else I suggest CRAR is likely to lead to landlords increasingly demanding rent deposits and for those deposits to cover service charge arrears, insurance rent and rates for up to 6 months. I also suggest landlords are increasingly going to demand more than one personal guarantor.

A positive or retrograde step toward the age old problem of recovering arrears – I leave you to decide. Is CRAR a positive move for prospective tenants and commercial lettings generally – for the moment I should like to reserve judgement

Jeremy’s jottings do not constitute advice on any specific matter. The information is provided for the purposes of general information and interest. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it. No liability can be accepted by Lawson Commercial for any action taken or not taken as a result of the jottings.

Delightful Character Premises in Glynde

Lawson Commercial have been instructed by Glynde Estates to find an occupier for a vacant unit at The Old Dairy. The building was originally constructed in 1887 and has been refurbished to a high standard to provide a number of units. Unit 3 has a wealth of feature beams and provides light, airy business space ideal for a studio, manufacturing or storage which leads to a store room known as the Old Butter Room with a vaulted ceiling. It is a character building in the heart of Glynde village adjoining several other well know businesses such as Flint Owl Bakery and A Taste of Dreams cake manufacturer. It lends itself very well for multipurpose business use and is available on a new lease.

Sandwich Bar/Cafe To Let

Lawson Commercial have been instructed to let some prominent premises in High Street, Hailsham fully fitted as a cafe cum sandwich bar. The premises comprise a seating and serving area of approximately 350 sq ft plus preparation and kitchen area there being some 507 sq ft in total together with a further storage area of 164 sq ft. The premises are fitted out already with tables, chairs, refrigerated display plus a wide range of cooking equipment and benefit from a stainless steel extraction hood. It is thus ready for immediate occupation. We are looking for a rent of £12,500 pa and a small premium for the fixtures & fittings.

Open Car/Caravans Sales Site At Ninfield

Lawson Commercial have been asked to market the former 4×4 Centre located at Ninfield Garage in Ninfield. The site is approximately 5,000 sq ft of open display next to the car wash facility and has room for around 35 vehicles depending on size. There is a modular building on site and also separate offices available in the main building. It is an ideal location for the sale of cars, caravans, vans and other motor vehicles and is available on a new lease at £16,000 pa or the landlord may consider an offer.

Ideal For Motor Trade

Lawson Commercial are instructed to market a modern, centre terrace industrial unit ideal for the motor trade just off Diplocks Way in Hailsham. The unit is some 1,500 sq ft in total and is available on a new lease at £10,000 pa. This small cul-de-sac has a number of other motor-related businesses located within it and this particular unit has 5 car parking spaces. It is thus ideal for someone who wants a small car repair workshop or equally it is suitable for other industrial uses.