London record shop Cigarette Records is being evicted

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“We’ve been given 10 days to move 12,000 records.”


Update (26/8/20): Cigarette Records has been given an extension of seven days, until the 4th September, to move their 12,000 records from the shared attic storage space.


Cigarette Records is being evicted from its premises in Beckenham Place Mansion in south-east London.

According to a statement posted on the the shop’s Instagram page, the owners were served an eviction notice by Beckenham Place Mansion Management, who also manage Peckham’s Bussey Building and Copeland Park.

The notice gives Cigarette’s owners six weeks to leave the premises, with the final deadline set for 30th September. However, the shop has also been told to clear 12,000 records out of a shared attic storage space at the Mansion within just 10 days.

 

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In June, the government extended measures to prevent business evictions until the end of September. It also published a code of practice for the commercial property sector “to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses.”

Cigarette Records’ owners have claimed that their pending eviction is a breach of the Quiet Enjoyment clause in their contract — which specifies a tenant has the right to use their property without unreasonable or unnecessary interference from their landlord. In the case of Cigarette Records, the clause “stipulates appropriate notice periods for works to be undertaken so as not to hinder the ability to run my business.”

The owners’ statement goes on to note they have always paid rent on time, and that while there are some arrears due to confusion amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, these have been approved by the the management.

The building’s management have told Cigarette Records that the eviction is a business decision made in response to the pandemic. According to Cigarette’s statement, no other tenants currently operating at the premises have been served notice.

In response to the situation, Cigarette Records is asking for people to help by emailing and calling Beckenham Place Mansion, and emailing Lewisham council (who rent the property to the management firm), to express their feelings about the situation.

Cigarette’s owners are also on the lookout for new premises, and hope to meet “an understanding landlord.”

The shop is continuing to run its online mail order business, and is currently running a 4-for-3 sale on selected records to help raise funds for the move.


This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.