Queen’s Market traders concerned over rent increase

Queen's Maarket traders give the new rents the thumbs down

Queen's Maarket traders give the new rents the thumbs down - Credit: Archant

Traders at one of the borough’s most popular markets fear they could go out of business as Newham Council prepares to increase their rent by as much as 50 per cent.

A number of stallholders at Queen’s Market, in Green Street, Upton Park, have received notification that the rent on their kiosks is to go up.

Mohammed Kalam, who has been selling Bangladeshi fish and vegetables for five years, says he has been threatened with eviction if he cannot pay the increased amount.

“I pay £6,000. They have asked me for over £9,500 and then have said they will throw me out if somebody offers more.

“That’s over 50pc increase in rent and we think this is unfair.”

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Mr Kalam, who lives in Ferrier Point, Canning Town, added: “I have seen no improvements to my kiosks from the council in the last five years.

“I’ve paid my rent on time and this increase is hitting us small traders most.”

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But a council spokeswoman defended the increase, saying it had calculated the market rent.

Saif Osmani, of the Green Street Business Association, said that ‘to let’ signs had been put up on some of the kiosks.

“Those signs are going up while the kiosks are still trading: they make customers think they are closing and go elsewhere for supplies,” he said.

A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “The leases on six of the 18 kiosks that the council owns at Queen’s Market are coming to an end. Since 2011, leaseholders have been charged between £5,000 and £6,800 for their kiosks, taking into consideration the credit crunch and the difficult economic climate.

“This year, using market information and comparing rents from other local stores, the council has estimated that the market rent for these kiosks would be £9,500.

“Businesses who are interested in a lease, including current leaseholders, are invited to submit a proposal to the council, this can include a different rent amount.

“The council will consider each bid taking in to consideration the business case as well as competition from the other businesses that are also operating in the market and surrounding retail units.

“The council has a responsibility to taxpayers to ensure that it is requesting appropriate rents for its assets.”

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