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VIC Commercial Lease - Can I be Locked Out Without Notice?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Top, 20 January 2016.

  1. Top

    Top Member

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    I have a commercial lease on premises but am now behind in rent for 2 months with some outgoings totaling of $8,000. I recently received a phone call from the managing agent on Tuesday stating that I will be locked out of the premises either by Tuesday or Wednesday.

    My questions are as follows:

    - Can I be legally locked out without any form of notice whatsoever?

    - I have paid $2,000 on Tuesday and $1,300 today / Wednesday. These payments of near 40% of the amount due are simply for the sole purpose of showing every intention of paying all the arrears which have been receipted and accepted by the agent. Can I still be locked out?

    Thank you for your replies in advance.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    What does your lease say about late rent?
     
    Top likes this.
  3. Top

    Top Member

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  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You do not obtain/retain a legal right because of part payments. It may help forestall action by the landlord but relies on his goodwill, not your legal rights.

    I read the attachments. At best the landlord has to give 14 days notice. If he has, then the lease gives him right of re-entry (7.1)

    Have you received any notices prior to the phone call?

    I'm unclear whether they are terminating or repudiating the lease. Also not sure if repudiation has a different legal remedy compared to termination.

    If they are terminating there's a case to be made for you that you are no longer required to pay any more rent from termination to the end of the lease period. You would still be liable for back rent. Not sure what happens if the lease is repudiated under clause 7.5.
     
  5. Top

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    No, there has not been any notice as such.
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Then phone and email the agent saying they have no right to enter the property without proper notice. Best do it before they arrive on-site.

    Keep in mind they may have evidence saying that they sent a notice.
     
  7. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    In VIC the Property Law Act provides tenants with a "relief against forfeiture" - by requiring landlords to serve you a notice to remedy breach - giving you an opportunity to rectify the breach that has lead to their entitlement to terminate - this is notwitstanding any rights they have to terminate in the lease. A reasonable period of time for such a Notice is 14 days

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/pla1958179/s146.html
     

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