VIC Commercial Lease Question

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10 November 2022
I'm a tenant in a commercial property and one of the outgoings is for a commercial bin, which we need, agreed to, and pay for - problem is no bin has been provided. The agent just ignores us or makes excuses ("it will arrive next week" - never arrives, "just get your own bin in the meantime" - while they keep charging us for a bin). I cant not pay for the “landlord’s bin” because we have signed a lease for it, but getting our own is paying twice, surely the services “paid for” by the landlord in the outgoing has to be actually provided? What happens when it isnt? Can outgoings be varied? Can I elect to supply my own bin and remove the "landlord's bin"? (I doubt it)


Well-Known Member
24 September 2014
Dear HarryVilde,

When tenant pay landlord to reimburse for outgoings, the landlord is not supposed to have a windfall but to reimburse what is actually spent by the landlord. If you feel that the problem is a slack landlord’s agent - ask for a copy of the invoice every time they charge you for outgoings - check the lease most would have the tenant having the reasonable right to ask for evidence, ask for where the money to outgoing goes. If they are difficult/charge you for access, ask them to prove they even have the information on things landlord is supposed to provide. Paying for outgoings is not meant to be a windfall - so it is quite reasonable to ask for evidence of landlord’s payment of commercial bin given there is no bin. Take photos of an empty common area with no bin - send them the photos and in writing saying the landlord is required to provide service and you are happy to do the landlord’s Part for the landlord but then you should not be required to reimburse that part of the outgoings or send them your extra cost invoice to the landlord in writing asking for refund. Be difficult, but without legal advice don’t miss rental payment. Chase them every day. Have good written records. Give them deadlines. If actually there was a delivery issue of the commercial bin, chase the supplier once you have their details. Maybe landlord’s agent is just too distracted - it is in your interest if the fault is not him and if he can be your ally. Remind. Try to find ways to not be reliant on a commercial bin at least in the short term - your negotiation position is less if you need something more than the other party.

It is my observation that, as a commercial tenant, there is a healthy tension in the relationship to the landlord - don’t be too weak “just do what the lease says” or obey landlord’s rules, but also don’t be too strong “I refuse to pay something” that is an actual breach to the lease that gives them a legal excuse to take legal action against you. The middle point in your relationship with the landlord that I suggest is good for both side is one where the tenant knows what the lease says and know how to push to get what they want, and be patient to not fight in every issue but hammer in for the important ones.

Good luck!