Cineworld loses le­gal bat­tle with land­lord

Union Square wins court rul­ing and can set new rent

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY KIERAN BEATTIE

A cin­ema chain has lost its le­gal bat­tle to re­duce its rent at a city shop­ping mall.

Cineworld took Union Square to court, ar­gu­ing that it should pay less rent for its base at the Guild Street cen­tre in Aberdeen.

The movie the­atre com­pany had hoped to rent the 10-screen, 2,400-seat mul­ti­plex for a re­vised sum of £563,750 a year but the land­lord ar­gued in favour of a new fig­ure of £834,000.

Un­der the terms of the lease for the space, both ten­ants and land­lords un­der­take a rent re­view ev­ery five years.

An in­de­pen­dent sur­veyor was sought to be “fi­nal and bind­ing on the par­ties”, un­der the terms of the lease be­cause the sides could not agree.

Af­ter com­par­ing Cineworld’s sit­u­a­tion at Union Square with other cin­e­mas in sim­i­lar lo­ca­tions and mar­ket­places around the coun­try, the sur­veyor de­ter­mined the open mar­ket rent of the prop­erty – as of the re­view date of Oc­to­ber 29 2014 – should be £755,375 a year.

“Cineworld is part of Union Square’s leisure of­fer and on­go­ing suc­cess”

Cineworld at­tempted to take the case against Union Square to the Court of Ses­sion, ar­gu­ing that the in­de­pen­dent sur­veyor had made an er­ror in law.

How­ever, the ac­tion was dis­missed as in­com­pe­tent by Lady Wolffe when she found there were no is­sues with the sur­veyor’s find­ings.

The judg­ment pub­lished this week re­vealed the Court of Ses­sion ruled that the rent re­view con­firmed by the in­de­pen­dent third party sur­veyor of £755,375 should be up­held – around £191,625 more than Cineworld had hoped for.

A spokes­woman for Union Square said: “We note the out­come of the court rul­ing.

“Cineworld is a pop­u­lar brand with our cus­tomers, and we look for­ward to con­tinue work­ing with them as they are an im­por­tant part of Union Square’s leisure of­fer and the cen­tre’s on­go­ing suc­cess.”

A spokes­woman for Cineworld de­clined the op­por­tu­nity to com­ment.

UN­HAPPY END­ING: Cineworld at Union Square had hoped to re­duce the rent it pays the shop­ping cen­tre but its case was thrown out of court

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