Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S. CAHILL

THE owner of a com­mer­cial prop­erty leased to restau­ra­teur Alain Fabregues says a rent in­crease to $1000 per sq m from next month was part of an agree­ment signed in 2011.

Lepley Prop­er­ties hold­ing company Sa­nur re­leased a state­ment via Pro­fes­sional Pub­lic Re­la­tions, which it en­gaged on Jan­uary 16, out­lin­ing de­tails of the rent agree­ment.

A Sa­nur spokes­woman said the lease signed in Novem­ber 2011 in­cluded an ini­tial rent of $83,000 (ex­clud­ing GST) per an­num or $400/sq m.

She said the agree­ment in­cluded a rent in­crease to $103,750 per an­num or $500/sq m in Fe­bru­ary 2013, $124,500 per an­num or $600/sq m the fol­low­ing Fe­bru­ary and in Fe­bru­ary this year, an an­nual rent of $207,500 or $1000/sq m.

The spokes­woman said the 2015 in­crease was com­pa­ra­ble to other shops in the area.

“The rent in­crease that will oc­cur in Fe­bru­ary 2015 is not a mar­ket rent re­view and not a sur­prise to Mr Fabregues,” she said.

“It was specif­i­cally agreed to in the lease ex­e­cuted in 2011. By Fe­bru­ary 2016, four years after the lease was signed, the av­er­age rent that will have been paid is $566/sq m.”

On Jan­uary 2, Mr Fabregues painted a sign on his shop win­dows about the 66 per cent rent in­crease in pub­lic protest. He said the in­crease came after he pulled out of a ver­bal agree­ment to open a restau­rant in Bar­rie Lepley’s Sed­don Street de­vel­op­ment.

The restau­ra­teur also claims that his land­lord forced him to re­move restau­rant equip­ment, freezer goods and dry store from an un­tenanted room he had been us­ing since he opened Bistro des Artistes.

The Sa­nur spokes­woman said the room did not form part of the leased area.

“As a favour, Sa­nur al­lowed it to be used tem­po­rar­ily and at no charge,” she said. “It is no longer avail­able to him.”

She said Sa­nur had spent nearly $150,000 in the first year of the lease help­ing to fit out the premises.

“Sa­nur agreed to Mr Fabregues not pay­ing any rent at all un­til he was able to open the restau­rant in June 2012,” she said. “The support given to Mr Fabregues was pro­vided in good­will to help him build a prof­itable and suc­cess­ful business.

“In 30 years as an in­vestor and man­ager of prop­erty in Su­bi­aco, Sa­nur has never been so gen­er­ous in as­sist­ing an in­com­ing ten­ant.”

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