Commercial Lease Disputes

Ideally, the relationship between landlord and tenant should be a stress-free one. If the terms and conditions of the lease were properly negotiated and well documented at the outset, and so long as both parties uphold their side of the bargain, the relationship should be a harmonious one.  However, from time to time, disputes arise between tenants and landlords. In those instances, it’s usually best for all concerned to resolve the dispute quickly so everyone can get back to business.

Commercial lease disputes often erupt because one or both parties have failed to comply with their obligations or responsibilities under the lease, or due to differences in the way in which the parties interpret the agreement. It can be useful to seek legal advice early on when a dispute arises, as you may be able to resolve the matter at the outset by clarifying your rights and responsibilities under the lease, and those of the other party, and communicating with the other party before the relationship deteriorates too far.

In Victoria, commercial lease disputes can be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). In many cases, however, before a matter can progress to VCAT, it must be referred to the Victorian Small Business Commissioner for mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution. If mediation fails to resolve the matter, or if it is unlikely that mediation will resolve the dispute, the Small Business Commissioner will issue a certicate to that effect, which must be attached to your application to VCAT.

If you are in dispute with your tenant or landlord, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible – there may be critical time limits for you to take action. If you allow those time limits to lapse, you could lose your chance to seek damages or compensation from the other party. You may also need to consider seeking an injunction to preserve your interests until the dispute is finally resolved.

At PCL Lawyers, we can assist you to resolve your commercial lease dispute by:

  • reviewing the terms and conditions of your lease agreement and providing advice as to whether a breach has been committed (by you or the other party) and the consequences for both parties under the lease;
  • advising whether you have a right to terminate the lease, or claim damages from the other party;
  • preparing and representing you in an application for an urgent injunction;
  • negotiating with the other party on your behalf to resolve the dispute, and put you in the best position possible going forward;
  • preparing your case, should the matter go to VCAT for resolution.
  • defend you in relation to any of the above scenarios.

We understand that commercial lease disputes can draw your time, energy, and resources away from your other business interests, and a speedy resolution is best for all involved. Our lawyers have many years of experience dealing with commercial lease disputes, and we can provide practical advice that takes into account the commercial realities of your situation.

Simply contact us on 1300 907 335 or complete the enquiry form on this page.

  • CBD Office

    Level 8, 446 Collins Street
    Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Moorabbin Office

    Level 1, 441 South Road
    Moorabbin VIC 3189

  • Chadstone Office

    Level 8, 1341 Dandenong Rd,
    Chadstone VIC 3148


    Ground Flr, 435 Nepean HWY
    Frankston VIC 3199

  • Preston Office

    Ground Flr, 84 Hotham St,
    Preston VIC 3072