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We are small hairdressers and occupy only 20% of a multi-tenure building. The Remaining 80% of the building is 4 flats but only one is currently occupied. Of the other 3, two have been unoccupied for the last 3 years or so and broken into by vandals and drug users on at least 3 occasions. The last time the police attended and phoned the landlords and demanded that the building was made secure again. All they did was screw some chipboard to the window frames which went soggy pretty quickly and has subsequently been forced off!

Our lease states that we will "pay a fair and proper proportion of the building insurance premium as calculated by the landlords surveyor." Surveyor is defined as a member of the R.I.C.S. The landlords keep insisting that we pay 50% of the premium as their insurance broker says we are the highest risk. They claim that the un-occupancy and break-ins are not relevant! The fact that the lease states "surveyor" surely means that his skills should be used in calculating our proportion of the premium which must mean apportioning the premium on a square footage basis. I have seen two solicitors and two surveyors who all agree with me.

Has anybody got any ideas or experience of this sort of problem?

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