Landlord and Tenant – more tenant tips (Part 3)

by Andrew Lind on 8 March, 11

The time to be clear about expectations is at the front end when the Lease Agreement is being negotiated. There is no such thing as a Standard Commercial or Retail Shop Lease. So therefore you have to read the document (and it is usually a doorstopper) carefully and take some advice on the document before you sign it.

A good leasing lawyer should be able to walk you though a Commercial Lease or a Retail Shop Lease in a couple of hours providing you with a “high point” or “big ticket item” advice and suggested amendments on the issues that usually bite tenants. Yes this will cost you something. However, some wise experienced insight is usually worth its weight in gold.

We provide a fixed fee High Point Review and Advice Conference (face to face or by phone) for all Queensland Commercial and Retail Shop Leases. Contact us now for a Quote.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenys February 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

I am planning on selling my current home and buying land/building a house in the next 12 months. My husband and I bought this house before we were married and the house is under my maiden name.
Is this going to be an issue when we sell and if so, how do I go about changing my name on the deed to the property to my married name?

Andrew Lind February 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hi Glenys

In Qld sellers often just enter the contract in thier madien name as sign the documents in that name rather than going through the process of changing the name of the Title first.

regards
Andrew Lind

David Newbound October 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I was leasing a commercial property from a person I bought the business off that operates from the property. This is a business that carries 3 million or so in stock and employs 30 people. It operates from a property of 10,000 m2 with a building around 2000m2. The business is a multi franchise Motor Vehicle Dealership. I had an initial lease when buying the business, but despite many attempts to get a lease renewal for over 3 years, the owner always stalled or would not make a decision, always saying he will get back to me. The owner then sells the property to a rival business who promptly gives me 2 weeks to vacate the premises and after a prompt about the laws etc, I get another note/letter to vacate 4 weeks later. During the 4 weeks I have phone conversations, face to face meets and many emails with the owner with the purpose of attaining a lease extension of another 1-2 months. I had found and negotiated a lease for new premises to house the business and continue trading from and I also had a temporary premise along with tradesmen and manpower organised should the landlord say no to the extension. A few days before the due end date, I get an email asking for 1) a copy of the deposit slip for the rent and 2) a note saying that “my lawyer said I cannot throw you out at this stage anyway.”
I took that as a granting of the extension I sought. I contacted financiers, suppliers and manufacturers, staff and creditors alike to inform them of the extension. I then get an email asking for permission to enter the premises with sign people during the period that I took to be the extension IE 5 days after the original termination date. I of course granted this without hesitation.
8 days into the extension IE Sunday, July 8th, I got an SMS from a staff member at around 10am asking me what was going on at the premises. I was at the premises 4 minutes later to find that the whole property had been fenced off, 2 bailiffs and a minimum of 4 security people were there plus a few other unknowns. I was refused entry to MY premises and all my stock on the outside areas had been removed. I called the police who said they knew about it and declined to attend the property stating it was a civil case. I said I ad been granted an extension and that this was now criminal. The officer hung up on me. I went home to get paperwork and when I returned, a police officer was there telling me to leave and that he would not listen to me. That all the documentation was correct. He declined to look at the paperwork I had produced contraindicating the legal right to seize the property. Nobody seemed aware that I had installed security cameras that taped the event from the opening of the doors, the alarm disarming, break and enter of the secured office where the keys and books to my cars were kept and the illegal use of my equipment and phones. It also recorded the lack of due care as to the securing of my customers information that was covered under the privacy laws. Many people were allowed to browse through customer documentation.
I have since tried to complain to the police but was hung up on again. The break and enter, unlawful use of motor vehicles and trespass complaints were ignored as was the fraudulent way in which $27500 of rent was attained from me. Also, demands for rent receipts and tax invoices for May, June, and July have been ignored. I have lost my company, all my assets, my business and I keep getting told that “they cant just do that”
They did.

Leah August 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I had a commercial lease which ended in June 2013. Prior to leaving the premises we were given a list of repairs from the tenant. We engaged professional services and paid over $1,000.00 on repairs. After we left the Landlord kept the $3,500.00 bond claiming he had to spend money on repairs to the premises. What is the Queensland authority for commercial leases? I understand RTA and QCAT are available for residential and retail leases but I cant ascertain an authority for commercial leases. Thank-you, Leah

Andrew Lind August 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Given that this is likely to be a contractual dispute about what I assume to be not a Retail Shop Lease the appropriate court is probably the Magistrates Court. I suggest an initial conference (in person or by telephone) with one of our Brisbane commercial litigation lawyers. That conference would cost approx $300 plus GST.

chandra October 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

In the case of a liquidation of a Pty Ltd company can the landlord insist on rent of the remaining period of the lease and or refuse to return the security deposit and can he go after personal asets of the directors?

Andrew Lind October 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I assume you mean the liquidation of the tenant. If so, this would be likely to place the tenant in breach of the lease and the default provisions of the lease would need to be carefully reviewed. Normally a landlord could take the security deposit and would have rights against the directors of the tenant personally if the directors have provided personal guarantees.

The landlord has a duty to mitigate his loss by seeking a new tenant and can usually only recover lost rent for a long as the property remains untenanted (unless it is only able to be leased for a lower rent).

There may be other obligations / liabilities (eg make good) that would also need to be considered.

I strongly recommend that you take some legal advice from a local lawyer or a Property & Leasing Lawyer from our Brisbane office.

regards
Andrew Lind

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