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3 COVID Matters a Commercial Lease Lawyer Can Help You With

by Byrne Anderson
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With the re-introduction of Victoria’s commercial tenancy relief scheme (CTRS), there are new legal issues for tenants and landlords to be aware of. This is where lease lawyers can really come in handy in helping you to understand all matters relating to COVID-19 relief and commercial leases. Read on to find out about three common matters that commercial lease lawyers can help you with.

Understanding Your Rights

Understanding your rights and eligibility for the CTRS is not as simple as reading some documents, as the matters are complex, especially for tenants who are affiliated with a corporate group. If you don’t know your rights, then it is hard to stand up for yourself. As a tenant, you need to put your best foot forward as you request rent relief from your landlord. In order to do this, you should consult with lease lawyers to put you on the right path. What this consultation looks like will vary between tenants, according to what help you need. The scope could be to prepare your initial request of your landlord, or you may just need some advice over the phone. Whatever your requirements are, lease lawyers can help you take the best action for your situation. Landlords may equally need to know where they stand if they receive a rent relief request from their tenant. Landlords may wish to consult with lease lawyers to ensure a fair deal for themselves as well as the tenant, and to make sure tenants are not taking advantage of the loopholes of the CTRS. Get your lease lawyers to help you navigate the complexity of the CTRS and use this legislation with integrity.

Dealing with Rent Deferrals

Formal documentation isn’t necessary for a rent waiver; a letter or an email can be used instead. But a rent deferral requires more formal procedures and documentation. So if you’re facing a rent deferral, you should chat with lease lawyers pronto. Sometimes you will need to detail arrangements in a deed of variation, and lease lawyers can help you in drawing these up. Both tenants and landlords are positioned well when a deed of variation is struck, as it stops parties from disputing the arrangement or claiming it as inadmissible. Part of the duty of a deed of variation might be to extend a lease to ensure the tenant has enough time to repay rent. A lease cannot end before the tenant has paid, as they won’t be motivated to pay the money back if they have already moved on, while a landlord prefers the protection of a lease to make sure they get paid. While it may seem costly to hire lease lawyers to organise a deed of variation, just think of all the stress it can save you, as the agreement between tenant and landlord is set in stone.

 When Subleasing or Licencing

Remote working has been the flavour of the past two years during COVID-19, and it has led many businesses to question whether they need so much office space. If tenants wish to downsize, they may choose to sublease or licence their office facilities, so that a third party may make use of their excess space. This is a trend that is only set to grow as time goes on. If you find yourself in this situation, either as a tenant or a landlord, you need to consult with lease lawyers before you make a move. You need to find out what is allowable under the terms of the existing lease, and also if you wish to make changes, those amendments need to be properly documented and legally binding.

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