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Repeated Incorrect Invoicing - Terminate the Commercial Lease Agreement?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Mike Camden, 1 May 2014.

  1. Mike Camden

    Mike Camden Member

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    We are a small business operating in Queensland and our office lease provider has for a continuous period incorrectly invoiced for items that we are not liable for. We have repeatedly instructed them in writing to correct the invoices and reinstate a credit to account, which has not been processed. This goes back now over 12 months.

    Can this be deemed as a breach of contract conditions by the Provider under contract law? And if so, will it hold up if we provide notice for termination of the commercial lease on these grounds? This is a business to business contract so therefore not covered by Australian Consumer Law.
     
  2. rebeccag

    rebeccag Well-Known Member

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    G'day Mike,
    It depends on the terms of your lease agreement - What does it say about incorrect invoicing / payment, and what does is say about the grounds for termination?
     
  3. Mike Camden

    Mike Camden Member

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    Hi Rebecca,
    If the Client disputes any part of an invoice the Client must pay the amount not in dispute by the due date or be subject to late fees. the Provider also reserves the right to withhold services (including for the avoidance of doubt, denying the Client access to its accommodation(s)) while there are any outstanding fees and/or interest or the Client is in breach of this agreement.

    There are no clear clauses around grounds for termination by the Client. It is very one-sided. This is the only relevant clause I could find:
    If the Provider is liable for failing to provide the Client with any service under this agreement then subject to the exclusions and limits set out immediately below the Provider will pay any actual and reasonable expenses the Client has incurred in obtaining that service from an alternative source. If the Client believes the Provider has failed to deliver a service consistent with these terms and conditions the
    Client shall provide the Provider written notice of such failure and give the Provider a reasonable period to put it right.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike,
    1. Unfortunately, small business contracts, unless reviewed by lawyers for both parties, often end up one-sided and/or unclear on key points. Unless the parties can agree on an amicable resolution to an issue, you should seek legal advice in relation to your contractual rights and obligations.
    2. If you are looking to avoid the immediate use of lawyers, you may consider reviewing the Queensland Government's Business Portal Guide on Resolving Disputes with Other Businesses.
     
    rebeccag likes this.

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