Tenants vs Bullying Landlords

Our current economy is not easy on anyone operating a business, particularly a small business where cash flow problems can be a regular occurrence.

All business owners who operate from rented premises should have a legally binding lease in place (if you do not then you simply run the risk of being told to vacate with 30 days notice without a need for a valid reason by the Landlord).

The Lease will always be clear that as a tenant, you are to pay the nominated rental amount on the relevant due date of every month, without fail or demand. However, if you are experiencing cash flow problems and you are not able to pay all the rent on the due date but can pay the balance a few days after, can the Landlord terminate the lease and require you to leave.

Depending on the wording of your Lease, the Landlord generally must follow a strict set of rules and a time frame before they can validly terminate the lease for the non payment of rental monies. If your Landlord is not commercially realistic or understanding and issues you with a breach notice on the first day after the rent is due and payable, this although lawful, will only act to damage the Landlord/Tenant relationship and eventually see the Tenant vacate the premises at their earliest possible opportunity.

Even if you are late in payment of some or all of your rent, the only option open to the Landlord is to issue you with a breach notice which will contain a period in which you are to rectify the breach. The Landlord cannot attempt to blackmail you by requesting you make payment of next months rent well before it is due or perhaps make a payment of a few months rent in advance in lieu of the Landlord proceeding to terminate the lease. Such actions by the Landlord are more than likely going to result in the Landlord being in breach of the lease and are not acceptable.

If you have a Landlord who is being over zealous in the collection or demand of rent or is using pressure or coercion to require you to make advance payments of rent not required under the lease, come and see one of our Commercial Lawyers. We can review your lease documentation and provide you with advice as to your legal position.