West Ham United are locked in a dispute with the owners of the London Stadium over maintenance liability.
The football club moved into the former Olympic Stadium in 2016 after the “deal of the century” allowed them to pay a measly £2.5 million rent per year. Despite the excellent deal, a row has broken out between the club’s owners and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), who own the stadium.
Karen Brady, vice chairman at West Ham, disclosed in a statement recently that the club may resort to legal action if the dispute is not resolved soon.
Their dispute has arisen over who is responsible for paying the cost of maintenance of the stadium’s big screen which is thought to run into thousands of pounds. West Ham are refusing to pay the costs, claiming E20, who are acting on behalf of LLDC, are acting deceitfully.
‘We are frustrated and angry that our landlords should act in this underhand way and we will not hesitate to take a legal route to confirm our rights under the tenancy agreement.’
E20 have taken the decision not to reinstate the club’s advertising boards around the ground showing off the club’s honours, in reaction to the unpaid invoices. This meant that the only branding in the stadium during the club’s first home game of the new Premier League season was that of the London Stadium itself.
Maintenance payments aren’t the only issues the club are currently battling their landlord over; the colour of the carpet surrounding the pitch and stadium naming rights have also been subject to disputes.
Commercial property disputes are not uncommon and West Ham’s thoughts of involving legal professionals in theirs are a wise move. Tenancy agreements should be scrutinised to ensure that each party is aware of their liabilities and any extra payments required of the tenant.
Disputes are stressful for both parties and having commercial litigation specialists involved will ensure a business can focus on the important aspects of running the company without worrying about legal details.
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