Rent hard to swallow
SUBIACO restaurateur Alain Fabregues is up in arms, saying his landlord has increased the rent by 66 per cent.
The Bistro des Artists owner painted the message: ‘Subiaco is not Paris or London – $1000 per square metre is unacceptable’ on his Hay Street restaurant’s windows last Friday afternoon.
Mr Fabregues said his landlord Lepley Properties notified him last month that his yearly rent would increase by about $90,000 as of February 1.
Mr Fabregues said he told Barry Lepley that he would not move into new Seddon Street premises owned by the landlord because they had been delayed.
He said there were two years left on his five-year lease, so he was in a bind.
Ann Bradley, the general manager of Lepley Properties’ holding company Sanur, said Mr Lepley declined to comment.
THE former owner of awardwinning restaurant The Loose Box and one of WA’s most decorated chefs, Alain Fabregues, says he is fighting a David and Goliath battle against his Subiaco landlord.
Mr Fabregues said he agreed with the property owner Barrie Lepley to move into the Hay Street property in 2012.
“At the time I agreed with Barrie that, when his new building was finished in two years, I would run a wine bar, maybe a bistro and patisserie on the ground floor,” he said.
“We are three years down the road and the building has not even started. So six months ago I said to him: ‘I am not going to take your offer because I am 66 years old, I cannot wait forever’.”
Mr Fabregues said his rent had now been increased.
The Metro West Joint Development Assessment Panel approved Mr Lepley’s eight-storey building at 1 Seddon Street and 424-436 Hay Street in April, 2014.
Sanur general manager Ann Bradley said Mr Lepley had a policy not to speak to the press.
Mr Fabregues said he decided to publicise his rent increase on the restaurant windows because the power of public opinion was the only card he had left to play.
He said high legal costs meant a normal person could not fight the dispute.
“There are people walking past and they are shocked, they cannot believe it. I am hoping that exposing this will make a difference,” he said.
Mr Fabregues said paying more than $600 per square metre was unheard of in Subiaco.
“Can you imagine the people that have to sell their houses, all their belongings, just to pay their lease so they can move away from this place?” he said.
Alain Fabregues’ yearly rent has increased by about $90,000. Inset: An artist’s impression of the Seddon Street development.
Bistro des Artistes owner Alain Fabregues has put his protest over a rent increase on the windows of his restaurant.