Q.  Can a Tenant get out of a Lease if they weren’t given a Disclosure Statement ?

A. Assuming the Retail and Commercial Leases Act applies in the circumstances, the Tenant may be able to cancel the Lease. However, the Magistrates Court will look at a number of factors including how long the Tenant has been in the property and whether they were disadvantaged by not receiving a Disclosure Statement.


What is the situation if the Landlord gave the Lease to the Tenant but they never signed it?

A.  Even though the parties may not have formally signed the Lease, where they have partly performed their obligations, the common law doctrine of part performance may be relevant and may act to create a contract in equity on the terms set out in the unsigned Lease. Assuming the Retail and Commercial Leases Act applies to the property, the Tenant may have rights to a five year term if they have been in occupation and paying the Rent for at least six months. The Landlord may also be able to enforce the five year term created by the Act. It would be wise, if you are in this situation, to seek legal advice.


Q.  Should I have to charge my tenant GST on the amount of outgoings that they pay each month?   
A.  You are required by the ATO, assuming you are registered for GST,  to   send them 1/11 of the amount you charge your tenant for outgoings so you should definitely charge your tenant GST on top of the outgoings.

Q.  What happens if the tenant stays in the property once the lease has expired?
A. Generally it becomes a monthly “tenancy at will” and either party can give one months notice to end it.

Q.  Do I get a rent increase if the Lease expires but the tenant stays in the property?
A.  Our leases provide for a 10% increase if the tenant stays as a monthly tenant.

Q.  Who pays for graffiti removal?
A.  Under our leases, the tenant does.

Q.  The tenant has asked that the lease be registered. Should I agree and why? 
 A. Registration of a lease means that it will be noted on the title to the land and therefore a future purchaser will have to abide by the terms of the lease. Generally registration is of most benefit to a tenant and as it is not generally to the landlord’s detriment you should probably allow it. It would pay to discuss it with The Lease Bureau first, however as there may be costs involved for the Landlord as well as the Tenant.

Q.  How much bond can I ask for with a commercial lease.
A.The equivalent of 4 weeks rent (not one calendar month but 4 weeks)

Q.  How do I ensure that some changes that the tenant and I have agreed upon are binding.
A.  The best way is to have The Lease Bureau prepare an extension of lease document and include the variations in it. Once this is signed by all parties the new arrangement will be binding.


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