How To Resolve A Lease Dispute
How To Resolve A Lease Dispute
Leasing a commercial or retail property is a significant financial investment for any business owner. However, despite the best intentions and efforts of both landlords and tenants, lease disputes may arise. These disputes range from rent payment issues and property damage claims to lease violations and security deposit disputes.
This blog will explain how to resolve a lease dispute like these and provide insightful tips and suggestions to encourage a successful and equitable outcome.
What is a lease dispute?
A lease dispute refers to a disagreement between a landlord and a tenant regarding the terms of their lease agreement. Common lease disputes in commercial and retail properties include:
- Rent and outgoings issues — This is one of the most common disputes in the space and typically occurs when a tenant fails to pay rent on time or disagrees with the landlord’s rent increase or outgoings charges.
- Property damage claims — From cracked windows to dents on the floor, property damage claims involve disputes about who is responsible for the cost of repairs or maintenance to the property.
- Lease violations — This occurs when a tenant breaches a clause in the lease agreement, such as subletting or partaking in illegal activities, breach of make good provisions, failure to exercise option/s to renew lease, or conversely, when the landlord breaches the lease, for example, in relation to redevelopment or relocation obligations, any warranties etc.
- Bond disputes — Situations like these arise when a landlord refuses to return a tenant’s bond, also called the security deposit.
How to resolve a lease dispute
No landlord or tenant wants to find themselves facing an ongoing dispute. However, if you do find yourself in the middle of a lease dispute, there are some steps you can take to resolve the issue amicably:
- Review the lease agreement — Before engaging in any dispute resolution process, it is essential to review the lease agreement carefully. This will help you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant or landlord.
- Communicate with the landlord or tenant — Clear communication is crucial in resolving any lease dispute. Try to approach the other party politely and professionally to discuss the issue and seek a resolution. However, being legally represented in such communications is highly advisable and always to be preferred, as you do not want to be saying, or doing, anything which may constitute admissions, or promises, or in any way prejudice your position.
- Seek mediation or arbitration — Mediation is a cost-effective and efficient way to resolve lease disputes. This process involves a neutral third party who helps the parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation can save you time and money compared to filing a lawsuit.
If all other attempts to resolve the dispute have failed, consider seeking legal advice. A property litigation lawyer can guide you throughout the dispute resolution process while upholding your best interests.
Property lawyers are professionals who understand property laws, regulations and obligations thoroughly and can actively and fairly resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.
How can I prevent future lease disputes?
To maintain a positive and productive relationship throughout the lease agreement, preventing future lease disputes is essential for landlords and tenants. To ensure this, we’ve provided some tips below:
- Provide clear and concise lease agreements — Landlords and tenants should agree that the lease agreement is clear, concise and includes all necessary terms and conditions. This includes rent, the bond and any maintenance or responsibilities that may be relevant to the property.
- Conduct regular property inspections — Landlords should conduct regular property inspections to identify and address any issues before they become major problems. Tenants should also promptly report any maintenance or repair issues to the landlord.
- Encourage effective communication — Landlords and tenants should maintain open and effective communication throughout the lease agreement. This includes responding promptly to emails, texts or phone calls and informing each other of relevant developments.
In the middle of a lease dispute? Contact ADVIILAW today
Resolving lease disputes in commercial and retail properties requires open communication and a willingness to negotiate. But when emotions run high and there’s no sign of a favourable outcome, it may be best to reach out to the experts. ADVIILAW is a boutique law firm specialising in commercial, property and dispute resolution law.
Our team comprises highly experienced property and commercial lawyers committed to providing top-tier legal counsel and cost-effective solutions. We help you understand your rights and will do everything in our power to uphold your best interests. We are passionate about what we do and are highly driven to provide high-quality advice for our clients. Book a call with us today to discuss your lease dispute.