A TAUNTON restaurant is currently closed with the owner embroiled in a dispute with his landlord.

Razaul Uddin was unable to get into the premises when he went to open up Yarani last Wednesday (January 12) as the locks had been changed.

His landlord's solicitor says the action was taken because Mr Uddin is several months behind in rent and insurance payments on the Indian eaterie in Bridge Street.

Mr Uddin, known as Raj, says he has only failed to make payments to his landlord over the past two months due to a disagreement over the amount he is being charged.

He added: "I went to open up last Wednesday but the locks had been changed without any warning or reason given. I'm baffled by it.

"I'm locked out and can't run my business. I can't feed my wife and children who eat there every day.

"I've got a couple of delivery staff who are now out of a job.

"I contacted the police, who say they can't do anything because it's a civil matter."

As of Monday this week, Mr Uddin claimed the lockout had led to his business losing £5,500.

Notices have been posted in the window advising that legal action will be taken against any locksmith trying to open the door.

Solicitor Ian Parker said: "The locks were changed because there were security issues at the property including a fire that wasn't reported and other concerns.

"Mr Uddin has been told the keys were available and I left my number there for that purpose.

"There's an issue over the fact he hasn't paid any rent or insurance for a few months, which adds up to a substantial amount.

"A winding up order against his company has been filed with the court.

"We have asked him to come to some agreement over the arrears, but he hasn't done so.

"He agreed to remove his personal possessions from the property."

Mr Uddin, who says he has been in business in Taunton for 30 years, opened Yarani which means 'guest friend - in April 2019.

Due to the pandemic, he mainly delivers meals and only services customers in the restaurant if they pre-book.

He previously ran Uddins restaurant in East Reach Taunton for 20 years, and also had businesses in Weston-super-Mare and Seaton until he took a few years out due to personal reasons.