Tiny kosher shop in court over big row
A BITTER dispute between Britain’s smallest kosher shop and the charity it rents space from is to be heard in Manchester County Court next month.
Like 40 other community-focused businesses and organisations, the 100 sq m Kosher Express store rents space from the Manchester Jewish Community Centre (MJCC) at its Prestwich premises.
MJCC rentals do not involve a lease, but simply an exchange of letters, a process that leaves room for ambiguities.
During the hearing, on December 5, the two sides will offer conflicting interpretations of their agreement.
The clash is over two shipping containers that Kosher Express has placed next to its entrance, in the centre’s car park. The shop’s owner, Aoz Alzhaver, claims rights over the spot where they stand, while MJCC trustee Brian White is asking for a court order for their removal, saying the shopkeeper’s authority extends only to use for vehicles. They make his centre “look like a shipping port”, he complains.
Mr White also wants Mr Alzhaver to settle several electricity bills, which he claims are unpaid by way of “punishment” for MJCC’s demand for removal of the containers.
Mr Alzhaver says the opposite. He says rent still covers power costs, as a five-year-old agreement to that effect is still in force, and that the threat of removing the containers is being used by Mr White to pressure for money to which his centre is not entitled.
Their agreement “says what the rent is, and he wants more money”, says Mr Alzhaver.
Mr White says rent ceased being allinclusive when Kosher Express introduced more chillers.