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Jansen Walsh and Grace

The recent decision of the Tribunal in Deus Software Pty Ltd v Acumen Auditors Pty Ltd (Building and Property) [2015] VCAT 1667 on 15 October 2015 shows the difficulties where there is no written lease.  In that case, an accountant offered to lease the premises for, the landlord.  There was an exchange of e-mails, but no formal written lease.  Consequently, no right of re-entry was reserved.  The accountant defaulted in the payment of rent and outgoings.  The landlord changed the locks.  The landlord refused to allow the accountant to collect his goods in premises after re-entry unless the arrears had been paid.  The Tribunal found that the landlord had no right to do so.

If you are a landlord of retail premises and you want to lease the premises you are obliged to give the tenant a Disclosure Statement and information brochure. If these documents are not provided to a tenant at the time when you enter into negotiation of the lease and preparation of the lease documents, then the tenant can:-

(a) withdrawal from the lease prior to entering into occupation of the premises; or
(b) within 28 days of the commencement of the lease.

The tenant is also entitled to a refund of the rental and other monies paid from the time when the tenant requested the Disclosure Statement and when it is ultimately provided.