Auckland fast food shopowner landed with $110,000 rent hike demand.
An Auckland takeaway owner has given his landlord a grilling after being stung with a proposed rent rise of more than $110,000.
The annual rent on Mehdi Abhari's 24-hour Customs St East shop, Chargrill, is currently $74,900. But Abhari says he's now being asked to pay $185,524 annually, three years into an 11-year lease.
The contract allows for Abhari's rent to be reviewed every two years.
To cover the $110,624 rent hike, Abhari would have to sell an extra 10,845 burgers or 28,365 portions of chips a year.
After eight months of trying to resolve the situation, Abhari is now forking out for a solicitor and getting arbitration from a barrister. The family businessman, who employs nine staff, says he cannot afford the legal fees.
"This is my only source of income, this is my livelihood. How can they try to increase my rent by over $100,000?," Abhari said.
"This is not fair. It's a mess."
Abhari commissioned an independent rental valuation from Prendos New Zealand after learning of the planned rent rise.
The March assessment, which compared the 131sq m site with other rented real estate in the Auckland CBD, came back with a recommended annual rent of $83,750.
Abhari said he was prepared to pay the $8850 difference between his current rent and the assessment's figure and had made that clear to his landlord. But he would not agree to the offer.
"Our valuer checked everything thoroughly, they are independent, and came up with $83,750. That is reasonable, I have no objection to that," he said.
"I said whatever the market says, we go from there. You can't just come and say 'it's this much' which is what they [the landlord] did."
Abhari said his landlord had also commissioned an independent rent evaluation. He was yet to receive a copy of it.
When contacted by the Herald on Sunday, John Hennah confirmed he was the property manager involved in handling the dispute. But he said he was not at liberty to comment further.
Property records show 101 Customs St East is owned by Waikoro Limited, whose sole director is Tim Edney.
In 2010, Edney applied for resource consent to build a $200 million, 26-level office tower on the block between Customs St East, Gore St, Gore St Lane and Fort St.
A report by Auckland City Council said the construction would change the face of the area.
"The applicant seeks to establish a landmark building both in terms of innovative design and environmental sustainability," the report said.
Edney did not respond to calls from the Herald on Sunday seeking comment on the rental wrangle or his company's plans for the Customs St East site.