I opened 45/R an entire 5 years ago (wow, time flies!)
Instead of celebrating half a decade of something I'd put my heart and soul into, I was faced with something that could have quite easily seen the studio's closure.
I received a water bill, and a court summons for £3452.39 plus £450 fees. The studio doesn't have any water supply whatsoever - it has access to 2 toilets on the floor, which are shared with around 20 other businesses. My landlord confirmed I was due to pay drainage charges only, which total £76.30 per year, but until this I never once received a water bill.
I got free legal representation from the Strathclyde Law Clinic and until last week it seemed that my case was unchallengeable and I was confident for the outcome, as Business Stream had failed to send a water inspector to the premises to check if I had a water supply several times, continually extending the court proceedings. On Friday - 4 days before the court date I was told that as the business centre doesn't have a water meter whatsoever (just confirmed by a water inspector), despite me having no water supply, that I was due to pay based on my unit's rateable value. On Tuesday I was ordered to pay the entire amount, minus fees. The judge ruled that all contact from Business Stream had been sent to a residential address - 19 Kerr St., instead of the studio, but that I was liable for the charges.
The challenges of running a studio have been worth it. I love recording music and to do it at 45/R has been incredible.
Despite making quite a success of the studio and being pretty fully booked, to be totally honest, this bill is going to shaft me. Due to overheads and repairs, last year I profited £6438, which works out as £2.50 per hour. From that I've saved around £1000, which I'll put towards this, and over the last few weeks I've saved the entirity of the drainage charges. I'm still a good bit off and Brodies, Business Stream's lawyers, are demanding a maximum payment window of 6 months.
Making a record is based on a relationship, so I hate when I have to think of the studio as a business. It'd really kill what I stand for to charge for extra time outwith booked session times just to try and be more business-like.
I would, however, ask if we've done a few 13 or 14 hour days instead of 10, or if you got a free half day to finish off vocal harmonies, or even if you just like the studio Instagram and can spare something to help me out, I'd really, really appreciate it.