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 Melbourne or 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 certificate to that effect, which must be attached to your application to VCAT.
Similarly in Sydney and NSW commercial lease disputes can be heard at NCAT – New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
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.
PCL Lawyers has lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne have experience Australia Wide. We can assist you to resolve your commercial lease disputes by:
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.