QLD Notice Period & Notice to sell a commercial premises

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Andy Pether

Member
1 July 2019
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Hi... Hope I’m in the right forum.

My question is in regards to the legal notice period required by your landlord on a commercial retail property. And whether the landlord has to provide notice that he is selling the property.

I was recently in the middle of negotiating a new lease on my cafe when the owner/ landlord sold the property without notifying me. He claims that it’s none of my business that he sold the property.

Our formal lease had a two months notice period from either myself or the owner should either party wishes to terminate the current lease. Obviously I wasn’t looking at terminating the lease but to renew the lease. The owner while we where negotiating all of a sudden changed his tune ( because he had a contract on the property) and said that he was going to put the rent up. I then realised I couldn’t afford the rent increase and notified him in writing that I couldn’t afford the new rent and was going to terminate the lease.

Two days latter I found out (from the Gardner) he had in fact sold the property and wanted me out and by doing so he had tricked me into terminating the lease myself, making way for him not to be liable for the two months Notification period.

Had I known he was selling the property I could have either renegotiated a least with the new owner or moved my business to other premises.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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I'd say there's a possibility to the buyer wants vacant possession, so negotiating a new lease with them might not have been possible anyway. If you're going to move your business to other premises, you're still in this position anyway. Whether he was going to sell is largely immaterial.

The landlord could just as easily have signed you up on a new lease at an inflated rent and sold the property. While there are protections under the law for short term leases of 3 years or less, protections given by registration, and often covenants written into leases to protect tenants upon sale, there is general need for the landlord to consult with you before selling the property.

In terms of the notice period, it depends on what the terms of your lease were. If you were nearing the end without an option period, the Retail Shop Leases Act requires the landlord to give you either 3 or 6 months notice of the end of the lease coming up. There's no penalty if he doesn't, except the lease extends for a period of 6 months after the landlord gives the requisite notice - if you request the extension, and, unless you terminate.

Did he manipulate you into leaving? Very possibly. But I doubt it was unlawful or in breach of the lease.
 

Andy Pether

Member
1 July 2019
2
0
1
I'd say there's a possibility to the buyer wants vacant possession, so negotiating a new lease with them might not have been possible anyway. If you're going to move your business to other premises, you're still in this position anyway. Whether he was going to sell is largely immaterial.

The landlord could just as easily have signed you up on a new lease at an inflated rent and sold the property. While there are protections under the law for short term leases of 3 years or less, protections given by registration, and often covenants written into leases to protect tenants upon sale, there is general need for the landlord to consult with you before selling the property.

In terms of the notice period, it depends on what the terms of your lease were. If you were nearing the end without an option period, the Retail Shop Leases Act requires the landlord to give you either 3 or 6 months notice of the end of the lease coming up. There's no penalty if he doesn't, except the lease extends for a period of 6 months after the landlord gives the requisite notice - if you request the extension, and, unless you terminate.

Did he manipulate you into leaving? Very possibly. But I doubt it was unlawful or in breach of the lease.
Thanks Rob... Much appreciated