14 Jan 2016 – Bullet Lodge, the Bisley clubhouse, is available for an NRA member or club to let – at a cool £8,000/year minimum and with all practical liabilities dumped on the leaseholder.
The tender documents, ground plans and summaries are currently available via the NRA’s homepage.
As well as the headline minimum rent (£8,000/yr), there are a number of hidden, and not-so-hidden, costs in the lease. These are:
- £1,000 upfront to cover the NRA’s legal expenses in drawing up the lease
- At least £183/yr charge for services, not including the usual utility bills.
- £1,050/yr council tax, though if a club takes the building it may be eligible for 80% Community Amateur Sports Club relief, if so registered.
- Must repaint exterior and arrange/pay for a full electrical safety test every 5th year. Interior to be repainted in final lease year, all at tenant’s cost.
- The tenant must also insure the lodge buildings and fixtures (fully comp, natch) through the NRA’s chosen insurance firm.
- The rent increases by the RPI rate (more or less, the calculation in the lease document is a bit more involved than a simple percentage increase) every 3rd year.
UK Shooting News reckons that to break even in the first year alone – the lease is for 21 years – the tenant would need to stump up around £10,000, taking insurance and utilities into account. The rent is payable quarterly, so a cashflow of about £670/month would be required just to keep your head above water.
In addition, all costs associated with repairs, wear and tear are the tenant’s responsibility.
The solution of having a live-in caretaker or similar to cover the rent is expressly ruled out by clause 12.2 of the (draft) lease: “Not to use the Property continuously or as permanent accommodation.”
Even worse, the lease prohibits “sales of food or alcohol on the site”, thus ruling out a clubhouse bar and/or kitchen run on commercial lines. Subletting or sharing the lease with another person or club is also verboten, though scope is left open for the clubhouse to be temporarily rented out.
It seems to UKSN that only someone very well off or a well-heeled/well-attended club that makes regular use of Bisley could, or would, take on Bullet Lodge. Given that Lloyds Bank RC has just moved out of its railway carriage clubhouse, which UKSN understands was partly due to NRA-driven rent increases, the likely market is very small. The NRA states that it will not enter into negotiations about the draft lease’s terms and conditions, so it’s very much a take-it-or-leave-it offer.
Tenders for Bullet Lodge should be submitted to Andrew Mercer, NRA CEO, by 12 noon on Friday 4th March. The lease starts on 8th April 2016.
Main picture of Bullet Lodge courtesy of the NRA.