Currently, we lease premises to some 37 sports and activity organisations. However, rent charges can vary significantly from club to club due to historical arrangements. Some clubs have benefited from reduced rents while there are others that have not received this financial support. Our Cabinet, as recommended by the Asset Management Forum, decided in June 2015 that any financial support for clubs must be more transparent and reflect a clearly determined subsidy level.
As part of this new approach, we are introducing a Rent Support Grant arrangement which will make the allocation of funding support more consistent and fair. Following the tenants next rent review or lease renewal, they will be charged market rent for the East Devon District Council sports or activity facility that they rent or lease. This is because we will be providing financial support to organisations that rent and lease our sports and activity facilities in a fairer and more transparent way.
From the next review date, clubs will be liable to pay market rent for the facility that they rent. They will be informed of the market rent following a valuation.
Market Rent is defined by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as, ‘The estimated amount for which a property, or space within the property, should lease on the date of valuation between a willing lessor and a willing lessee on appropriate lease terms, in an arm’s length transaction, after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion’. (RICS Valuation Standards, April 2010). Or put more simply, full market rent is the amount of rent we as the landlord, could reasonably expect to receive for the land and/or property if it were openly offered for rent for a similar use.
However, they will not be charged this market rent until they have had the opportunity to apply for, and if successful, receive a Rent Support Grant. Clubs that are eligible to apply for a Rent Support Grant will be able to make their application and potentially offset some or all of the increase to the market rent.
Our Community Fund Panel of Councillors will look at the applications and make decisions about whether they can offer a grant to pay a proportion of the rent for a period of up to five years. It will be each eligible organisations responsibility to apply for the Rent Support Grant if they wish to do so. If they do not apply, are not eligible or are not successful, they will be liable to pay the new rent as soon as we are aware that they fall into one of these categories.
The application process will require tenants to provide us with information about their club, its activities, financial position, membership, inclusivity and premises utilisation. The information they provide will be used by us to evaluate whether a Rent Support Grant should be offered together with the level of any such grant and the period over which the grant will be offered. Please note there is a limited amount of funding available.