LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW End of a Commercial Lease - Fixtures and Fittings

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by EmpCon, 21 October 2014.

  1. EmpCon

    EmpCon Member

    Joined:
    21 October 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    Our office suite has just been sold by the current landlord. Our commercial lease on our office comes to an end in January 2015 and we are looking to relocate as the offices are now too big for our purposes.

    We have been in the same office suite for the past 8 years, and originally paid to have specific data cabling, trunking, phone system (incl. all the switch gear) etc. installed to suit us as a business at that time.

    Also we had custom made blinds installed for all the windows.

    The owner of the business is convinced that when we move out, the landlord should purchase the cabling, power upgrades , trunking and blinds etc. from us.

    Is a land lord obliged purchase this type of fixture/fitting from the tenant?
    Is the tenant within their tenants rights to take such fixture/fitting with them when they leave?
    If the tenant does take the fixtures/fittings with them, who is responsible for 'making good' afterwards?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    257
    Generally speaking:

    No
    Yes
    Tenant

    The lease however may have terms that cover your questions and may mean my answers are not valid in your circumstances. Read your lease. If the lease is silent on these questions and there is no other written agreement with the landlord, then see my answers.

    Stay on good terms (sic) with the landlord and you can sometimes end up with the result you want. Annoy the landlord and expect him to enforce the strict letter of the lease agreement.
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 July 2014
    Messages:
    1,314
    Likes Received:
    243
    Hi EmpCon,

    Further to Rod's comments, you need to distinguish between a "fixture" and a "fitting that is not a fixture". Fixtures (the legal definition, not the colloquial meaning) are considered land and belong to the landlord. Therefore, the landlord is not obliged to pay for them since they have already purchased the land. Those that are not fixtures can be taken away by the tenant. The landlord is again not obliged to pay for this and the tenant is responsible for removing such items since they belong to the tenant.

    There's been many disputes over whether something is a fixture or not. Very roughly defined, a fixture is something that is intended to to form part of the house/land and installed to better improve the enjoyment of the house/land. Something is not a fixture if it is installed for its own enjoyment. Cabling and custom curtains (as in, made to measure curtains) may be considered fixtures. Phone system does not appear to be.

    However, I agree with Rod. Remain on good terms with the new landlord and negotiate in good faith rather than according to the law.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    257
    FYI, I have seen cases where cubicles and cabling were considered fittings (ie to be taken away by tenants).
     

Share This Page

Loading...