A HAIRDRESSER claims her business has been forced out of its home by the council after a dispute over a new rental agreement.
Jodie Priestley from Ally Barbers in Paulsgrove has handed the keys to her shop back to Portsmouth City Council, saying that she ‘could never afford’ to pay the proposed deposit for a new agreement, which would cost her £2,200.
The new rental agreement would also increase the annual rent from £8,500 to £8,800.
But the council says that not only is the lease agreement common practice, but that Jodie also declined the offer of using a guarantor to pay for the deposit.
Ally Barbers has been a mainstay of commerce in Paulsgrove for 11 years – but this has now come to an end.
Jodie said: ‘The council sent me a letter to sign a new lease, but they wanted me to pay a three-month rental deposit, which I have never had to do before.
‘I was only given a month to sign the deal and the council was adamant that it was non-negotiable.
‘The council is out to take money that I simply don’t make.
‘When you have had the same customers for 11 years and have to say goodbye to them, it is incredibly sad.’
Jodie says that it is difficult for a small business like Ally Barbers to stay afloat due to the high rental costs in the area.
She said: ‘The rental costs here are astronomical, especially considering we are only a small business.
‘It is really difficult to make that £9,000 figure each year.’
Jodie and her team recently opened a new barbershop in North End – with staff being moved across to the new site.
She said: ‘Thank God we have that new site, otherwise we would be completely out of business.
‘It is a real shame that his has happened – we have really enjoyed being a part of the community in Paulsgrove.’
A spokesman from Portsmouth City Council said: ‘The council is following standard procedure in terms of negotiating a new lease. Ms Priestley has been the tenant since 2007 and in that time there have been several periods of rent arrears.
‘As part of a new lease negotiation the council requested three months’ rent in advance, as is standard practice.
‘The tenant advised this was difficult for her and the council offered the use of a guarantor instead of paying the three months’ rent in advance.
‘Ms Priestley declined the offer.
‘There is a high demand for the shops in this area and all prospective tenants will be subject to a council lease with a deposit required.’