Leasing Agent requesting sales details due to Covid-19

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fred

Member
21 August 2014
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Hi,
Im a retailer who operated within a 6 month shop license/lease, which has expired 18 months ago, but I have continued to operate on a month to month for the past 18 months, hoping to take a longer lease if it is worth it. The license only states that I should submit monthly sales figures to the leasing agent, which I have been doing for last last 2 years. I have now received an email from the leasing agent requesting further information based on the New Mandatory Code of conduct for commercial tenancy arrangements announce by the Prime Minister, due to Covid-19. They are requesting the monthly sales and customer counts from January 2019 to date, as well as Daily sales and transaction counts for the months of March and April 2020. These must be in the form provided to the ATO (BAS statement) or Accountant evidence and not by way of spreadsheet.
I am not applying for Government assistance(Jobkeeper), nor am I asking the landlord to reduce rent. This is a tedious exercise, which is going to cost me to have this done by Accountant/ Bas agent.
Am I obligated to do this?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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16 February 2017
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No. Even if you were to seek relief pursuant to the Code of Conduct (which has to be legislated in each particular state to be binding), there are a number of ways to go about it - and it's all referable back to the JobKeeper program. I hope the agent is trying to be helpful and proactive - rather than fishing for information. Any attempt to use the program as an information gathering exercise is likely to get some pretty quick rebuke.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
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28 April 2014
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What @Rob Legat - SBPL said.

One additonal thing I'd look at would be to make sure that
there is no term in your lease that requires you to do something like

"...allow the landlord (or their agent) to inspect your books at any time"

because if there is, then you might have to do it.

If there isn't, then you may care to reply with something like

"Thank you for your enquiry.
I have no plans to seek any review of my rent or other arrangements at this time."


Perhaps the agent is trying to get a sense of who among their tenants
is about to go to the wall, and/or trying to anticpiate any imminent requests for
rent holidays or Code based negotiations.

That being said, if you keep paying as usual, then the landlord has
no new enforceable right to any further information than you already provide.

Bear in mind, COVID-19 or not, that as a periodic tenant, you may be
in an inherently weaker position than a tenant part way through a term.
It can be helpful to remember that you are not the agent's client - your landlord is.

By way of context, you can read what the REINSW is telling it's members here.