Lease Issues and Disputes

A lease is a key asset for both landlord and tenant. You need a well drafted lease to balance the interests of both parties and to ensure that the obligations of the lessor and lessee are clearly understood.

Typically disputes can arise during rent reviews, renewals of the lease term, assignment of the lease, or because the circumstances and expectations of the parties have changed from those held at the time they entered into the lease. Another increasing area of dispute is maintenance and repair obligations and who bears the cost of these.

The first step when there is a dispute or a problem arises is to look at the lease agreement and what you have agreed to either as landlord or tenant. If this is not clear, the next step is to resolve the differences by agreement. Competent and realistic advice about the strengths and weaknesses of your position can be critical in reaching a settlement - you obviously want the best deal you can reasonably get. If you cannot agree, strict adherence to the notice requirements and processes set out in the lease and relevant legislation is essential to avoid additional costs and liability that can flow from a flawed enforcement process.

You will have access to experienced lawyers with a wealth of experience in all leasing matters and resolving lease problems. Advice at an early stage can frequently avoid a dispute in the first place or resolve the situation by agreement. If a dispute needs formal resolution (such as mediation, arbitration or court proceedings) you need advice well in advance to ensure you do not make decisions that will later limit your options.

Whether you try to resolve a dispute by agreement/mediation, or go to arbitration or the Court, Brookfields can help you by:

  • Providing you with expert advice on your options;
  • Suggesting strategies; and
  • If needs be, preparing and filing your case.

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