Over the past year there have been some notable cases held at VCAT from the Building and Property List. These cases have wide reaching implications for landlords, agents and tenants of commercial property and provide guidance when interpreting Covid 19 regulations and recent changes to the Retail Leases Act 2003. As you know, Covid 19 effectively shut down many courts and tribunals until they could switch to an online format. Many of these cases contain significant detail and raise, as well as resolve, many issues in the commercial leasing environment.
Here are the cases, some of which have not been widely reported.
This case deals with whether a faulty notice of default can be relied upon as a basis for terminating the lease and whether the tenant is required to reimburse the landlord for the cost of procuring public liability insurance.
This case deals with a monthly tenancy where the landlord sought to increase the rent and issues arose as to the acceptance of the increase which lead to termination of the lease.
This was a case where the tenant applied for and was successful in obtaining Covid 19 rent relief.
This was a case where a lease was varied to remove two options and the tenant sought to rely unsuccessfully on a section 21 claim for 5 years tenure.
This is a large compensation claim which was successful against a landlord who failed to maintain a property over several years.
This case dealt with a variety of issues including a Section 57 claim under the Act for loss of car parking, alleged errors in a section 146 notice and failure to issue a disclosure statement.
This case dealt with a landlord retaking possession where a tenant was in arrears and did not have an eligible Covid 19 lease.
This case deals with a monthly tenancy which the landlord sought to end. However, the tenant was entitled to relief under section 21 (five years right of tenure) as opposed to a 6 months extension as a section 64 notice was not issued by the landlord.
This was a case where premises were used for pasta manufacturing and pasta sales to the public were not deemed to be retail premises in accordance with the Act.