Dispute centres over office rental at Birmingham mixed-use development after mezzanine floor installed

The owner of the Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham is heading for a High Court showdown with tenant Network Rail.

The dispute centres around the rental of offices at the Mailbox, a large mixed-use development in Birmingham.

Mailbox says Network Rail should pay a higher rent because it has installed a mezzanine floor, increasing the floor space by 19,700ft2.

But an arbitrator decided that the ability to create a mezzanine floor was not something that affected the rental value of the third floor unit. He ruled that the rent should be £1,186,000 a year.

Mailbox is claiming that the arbitrator acted contrary to the evidence and substituted his own view, which was inconsistent with the evidence of two experts. It claims Network Rail is occupying 79,000ft2 of accommodation while paying rent for only 59,300ft2.

Mailbox is asking the court to return the arbitrator’s award for reconsideration.