Levy Park tenants owe Napsa K11m

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Levy Business Park mall
Levy Business Park mall

Some tenants accrued arrears over a two-year period while others have not paid rentals since they occupied the shops.
NAPSA has engaged Masauso Banda Debt Collectors and Certified Bailiffs to recover the money from defaulting tenants.
Yesterday, the bailiffs swung into action to execute warrants of distress on defaulting tenants.
Those served with warrants of distress include Ndanji Fashions, which owes NAPSA over K1.2 million, Radian Stores with a debt of K504,309 and Wimpy restaurant under Zana Properties Limited with a debt of over K1 million.
Other debtors are SBM Bridal Concepts (K694,600), Dolce Vita (K257,000), Guess and Nine West (K228,922).
NAPSA director general Charles Mpundu told journalists yesterday that some tenants have defaulted for a long time.
“Some of the tenants have for some time defaulted instead of respecting their obligations by honouring rental payments, some since the building was opened.
“There have been several reasons advanced particularly that at the beginning, some of the lease agreements were not properly executed when we had the previous property manager Liberty Properties of South Africa,” Mr Mpundu said.
He said when Liberty Properties of South Africa handed over management of the mall to J H Anderson, there were issues which were not reconciled.
Mr Mpundu said that could have contributed to some tenants not honouring their obligations but that those issues have now been addressed.
“If the people do not pay rentals, then the property can’t perform and we can’t honour obligations in terms of paying the benefits.
“For Levy in particular, we are not evicting our tenants because they have an injunction in the courts of law but for continuing obligations nothing stops us from issuing warrants of distress,” Mr Mpundu said.
He said NAPSA has not only issued warrants of distress to tenants of Levy Business Park mall but also to others occupying NAPSA buildings who have not been paying rentals.
He said NAPSA needs to recover the money because it has a responsibility to invest money collected from tenants as it embarks on other major projects.
Mr Mpundu also said some tenants have argued that NAPSA belongs to the people and that since they are part of the people, they should be given concessionary rates for rentals, which he said is wrong.
And Debt Collectors and Certified Bailiffs managing partner Masauso Banda said tenants who have decided to close their shops will not escape “punishment.”
“Some of these tenants have started closing their offices, saying they have gone for stocktaking. We know that they have got information that warrants have been issued by NAPSA but we will not relent. We will move in and get their goods,” Mr Banda said.
He said the tenants have been reminded on several occasions to settle their arrears but they have ignored the reminders while some have vowed not to pay the debts.
Other companies that owe NAPSA are Cell Site, Debonairs Pizza, Mwasuwila Christian Bookshop, Book Hut, Bathroom Boutique, Bimm Bureau de Change and Travel, Nakachi, Top of the Town boutique and Incredible Digital Connections.
And an official from the National Business Tenants Association, who asked not to be named, complained of an unfair trading environment at Lev mall.
The source said in an interview that most Zambian companies have been forced out of business due to high rentals.
He charged that Zambian companies subsidise the foreign ones.
“The rentals are too high, in most cases, Zambian small and medium enterprises are paying as much as K80,000 compared to K15,000 being paid by South African companies as these are regarded as anchor tenants, meaning they attract crowds to the mall,” he said.
The source also wondered why NAPSA has engaged a foreign estate agent to manage the mall when it has the capacity to collect rentals.

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