Here are some suggestions for landlords and tenants of flood effected commercial properties seeking to know what to do next.
If you are the tenant, have you notified the landlord? Make sure you do it in writing and in accordance with the notice provisions in the lease agreement.
If you are the landlord, have you notified the tenant about what your expectations are? There are many disputes that can be avoided if there is early communication about expectations.
Carefully read your lease agreement (and any amendments to it). Highlight any clauses that you think might be relevant. This will allow you quickly draw these to the attention of your solicitor.
Is the lease agreement clear on who has to do the repairs in the event of damage by flood?
Be careful about time limits. Do repairs have to be done in a certain time?
What are your rights if the repairs are not done? Are there then rights of termination?
Swift legal advice will be needed on this so that you do not potentially waive rights of termination by inconsistent conduct.
Who took out the insurance (the landlord or the tenant) and has the insurer been notified? It may be that different policies will respond to different losses. For example the building cover may not extent to parts of the fit out.
Does the lease agreement provide that rent (and outgoings) abate (cease) or partially abate? Do you have to do anything to make sure this happens? (e.g. give a formal notice)
Our leasing lawyers can help
Our Commercial Leasing Lawyers and our Dispute Resolution Team can help. Please call our Brisbane office on Ph 07 3252 0011 if you would like to book a teleconference or meeting with one of our lawyers.