At the beginning of this year I recounted the Catch-22 that Mukesh Patel found himself in when he placed his South East London shop on the market. “Found a buyer, but they had a loan so wanted a longer lease as per the bank’s condition. My landlord for the past 36 years never gave me any hassle as I had paid my rent on time and had not only maintained the property well, but spent my own money to extend the shop and flat above.”

However, the landlord would not give a new lease directly to the new buyer so, to keep the sale, Mukesh had to agree to his lease being extended to 2024. “Meaning,” he pointed out, “I will be responsible in the event new buyers failed to observe the terms of lease.”

Mukesh has now sent me the second half of this saga. “If this was not bad enough, the landlord’s solicitor took a long time in every step and even after six months the draft documents were not sent and hence the buyers pulled out, resulting in £1,000 fees for my solicitor and £1,200 for the landlord’s solicitor.”

He says that 36 years had taken its toll; he wanted out, so had to reduce the price by £35,000 and is hoping that this sale goes through.

Meanwhile, Camelot and Transport for London have agreed the transfer without much fuss, but the buyer has just told him that PayPoint is not willing to transfer unless he signs a new contract and takes a new terminal and epos system at £65 per week payment. His weekly PP commission has never been more than £40 per week.

As Lewisham and Woolwich branch secretary of the NFRN, Mukesh has appealed to the federation for help on this one.

In his most recent email to me he says: “On a personal note, first 15 years were really good business.”

But along came too much red tape, legislation, licensing and compliance measures…

When the sale has gone through he is going to take a few months’ rest and hopes to spend some time doing voluntary work. He was very grateful to Convenience Store for help in the past and sent me some lovely pics illustrating colourful times including posing with then prime minister Gordon Brown.

We wish you the happiest of landings Mukesh.