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VIC Took Over Lease from Previous Occupant - Can I Change Locks?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Nick Smith, 14 December 2016.

  1. Nick Smith

    Nick Smith Member

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    We purchased a new business a couple of weeks ago by taking over the previous occupant's lease. It's a small salon but it has a large warehouse at the back of it. It had the previous owner's professional line in, along with what can only be described as a collection of tools, household items and others items that had been collected over the years.

    As a gesture of goodwill to the previous tenant, we agreed he could keep the professional stock only as long as it was neat and organised and for a small weekly fee. When we moved in, nothing had been cleared at all. We've had nothing but problems in the salon - all of which we have to hold our hands up and say we should have checked before we moved in.

    He had cleared the back yard which was piled high with crap but the warehouse is still full and it doesn't look like he is making any effort to move it. He still holds a key which we're not happy about but to save us coming out all the time, we agreed to him holding it until his stuff was cleared.

    We've now lost our patience and he's either not responding to calls or texts or telling us he'll be there and not turning up.

    Am I entitled to change the locks under property law and take possession of the contents in the property?

    I don't want to but we want him gone now so we can convert the warehouse and be free from this pain.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You can, but then you are breaking the agreement with him re: storage fee. I'd send him a letter/txt/email saying agreement ends in 30 days, locks will be changed and his stuff needs to be removed or locks will be changed and he agrees to new conditions (think carefully about what you want) and continues to pay storage but with no access except at times you agree to at your sole discretion.
     
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  3. Nick Smith

    Nick Smith Member

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    I sent a polite email last week asking him to have all the stock moved by Christmas as we have a potential investor coming to look at the space. We've also not received a penny in rent so isn't he breaking the agreement?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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