Leasing & Lease Disputes

Our firm has experience acting for landlords and tenants in disputes involving commercial and retail leases.

Retail lease disputes must first be referred to the Victorian Small Business Commissioner before they can progress to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). More than 80% of disputes are resolved by the Commissioner. We assist landlords and tenants during this process.

Retail Disputes

For those retail disputes that do not resolve at mediation, the next step is usually a VCAT application. We are experienced in the VCAT processes and have relationships with barristers that practice in this specialist area to ensure that your VCAT Application or Defence/Counterclaim is handled efficiently. Common examples of retail lease disputes in which we have acted include:

  • Failure by Tenant to pay rent;
  • Tenant locked out of premises;
  • Landlord withholding security deposit upon repudiation of the lease by the Tenant.

Commercial Lease Disputes

Commercial lease disputes also require specialist expertise and skill involving contract interpretation and knowledge of the relevant statutes and common law that deal with this area.   Common examples of commercial lease disputes in which we have acted include:

  • Breach by Tenant to ‘make good’ alterations to a warehouse upon expiry of the lease;
  • Failure by Landlord to maintain the leased premises;
  • Issues with retention of bank guarantees.