Aaaarggh!! The tenant has stopped paying rent and outgoings, on time or at all, or there have been various breaches of the lease which cannot be tolerated. This is when properly prepared Default Notices need to be prepared by professionals. The costs of default notices are almost always recoverable against the defaulting tenant.
It is particularly frustrating for both landlords and estate agents when tenants are in default of their lease. All parties to a lease would like to see the lease and occupation of the premises conducted in a manner which is non-eventful, cordial and smooth. Unfortunately however there are many circumstances when a Tenant fails to pay rent and/or outgoings regularly, on time, or sometimes at all. Furthermore there may well be other breaches of the lease including but not limited to the permitted use of the premises, breaches of signage and/or owner’s corporation obligations and many other matters. In these circumstances a Landlord cannot simply change the locks to the premises and take back possession of what is rightfully theirs.
Both the Property Law Act 1958 and the Retail Leases Act 2003 contain various directions as to the actions a Landlord can take, the content and timing of any default notices and the correct jurisdiction for any proceedings to be issued. These matters can only correctly be undertaken by lawyers who have the knowledge and experience required not only to prepare lease documentation but also to manage the disputes which all too often arise. Whilst many estate agents still prepare these notices, or sometimes default letters, the formal notices are best prepared by lawyers, and in nearly all cases, the costs of the default notices and any subsequent action are generally recoverable from defaulting tenants.
Fixed prices for default notices include taking instructions, perusing the existing lease documentation, drafting and serving the default notice and confirming these matters with the Landlord and/or estate agent. If further communication is required or proceedings before the Small Business Commissioner, VCAT or courts eventuate, then we have the expertise to act on your behalf in all alternative dispute resolution or litigation. Please contact us to discuss further.