What happened at Addington Palace?The short version:
In 2015, Addington Palace decided to review our rent and put it up by a staggering 75%. Despite negotiation attempts, they refused to negotiate. We were unable to afford the rent increase so we had to search for alternative premises.
The long version:
As many of you will be aware, I was very disappointed at the actions of Addington Palace. Croydon Physio first started renting a room at Addington Palace in 2005. During the period of 2005 to 2015, there was a very good relationship between Croydon Physio and the management and owners of Addington Palace.
In March 2015, we became aware through rumours at Addington Palace that the owner, Mrs Deniza Power, was not happy with car parking arrangements, and felt that there were too many cars parked outside the palace. We also noticed that our patients were being asked to sign in when entering for “health and safety reasons” although staff and other tenants were not being asked to sign in. This seemed a little odd.
In May 2015 an email was sent by the General Manager, Craig Davis, to all the staff at Addington Palace asking them to park their cars around the back and not at the front. As we are not staff, we were not copied in to the email. One of our team parked his car outside Addington Palace, and walked in to the building to be confronted by the owner asking, “why are you parking your car outside you were told to park it around the back” and some kind of discussion took place which left a bad feeling with the owner. The only two people who were allowed to park at the front was the owner and her husband, John Power.
Around 1 week later Croydon Physio received an email stating that our rent was to be going up by 75%, and we were to be moved to the opposite wing of Addington Palace where we would be given 4 rooms instead of 5 rooms (although one room could be split, but effectively meaning we would be given considerably less space). We were also advised patients would not be allowed to use the gym which is where we do our rehab, and we must remove all mention of beauty therapy or massage from our websites, and that no patient would be allowed to walk through the front door at Addington Palace, and if they did I would be called to escort them around the back. OK again a little odd. Unfortunately we were given an ultimatum, we must accept the terms or we would be given 2 months’ notice.
The clinic replied with a very apologetic email and suggested that I move out of Addington Palace to another clinic which would then significantly decrease foot flow and car park use. That was rejected, and we were issued with two months’ notice. At this point we spoke with Rex Cowell who is an excellent landlord and tenancy lawyer https://rexcowellsolicitors.com and friend of the clinic who advised what our rights were, and I conveyed this to the owner, who agreed that we would leave with 6 months’ notice issued by us.
During the 6 months Croydon Physio emailed the General Manager and owner three times, and received no reply from the owner (but did receive replies from the General Manager stating he had passed my emails to the owner). With one month to go, we were behind schedule with the new clinic. We wrote again to the General Manager to ask the owner if we could stay until the New Year, or perhaps January or February, and we were told yes it would be possible but now the rent would be increasing by 100% rather than the 75% stated previously. At that point we advised Addington Palace that we don’t do business like this. We don’t blame the management, Craig looked after us incredibly well over 10 years, but we do find the actions of the owner somewhat greedy.
To date, the rooms are not filled and remain empty. The car park is empty and there are black cones outside to stop people parking. We are told the atmosphere in the Palace died the day we left, wedding bookings are down next year, gym members now total 15 (down from 300 back in 2005), and the place is in desperate need of renovation.
We are sad to leave, but relieved to be out. We have now bought our new premises which are amazing and every room is much nicer, more light, more air, better access, and plenty of free parking on-site.
Clinical Director, Croydon Physio