Most leases give rights to the landlord to seek the early termination of a lease, due to a breach of covenant (a “promise”) by the tenant. However, in most circumstances, before the landlord can exercise this right of early termination, the landlord is required to give a tenant a Notice to Remedy Breach (the “Notice”). Whilst this requirement may seem simple enough, our experience is that the validity of the Notice is a commonly disputed issue.
The specific terms and conditions of a lease vary from one to another (for example a Standard Form REIQ Commercial Tenancy Agreement is usually very different to a Retail Shop Lease pursuant to the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld). A few examples of the contents required for a valid Notice, pursuant to the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld), are as follows (without limitation):
- The Notice must be in writing;
- The Notice must be served on the tenant, compliant with the specific requirements of legislation, or as otherwise agreed in the terms and conditions of the Lease;
- The Notice must specify “the particular breach complained of”;
- The Notice must, “if the breach is capable of remedy”, require “the lessee to remedy the breach”;
- Where money for the breach is claimed by the landlord, the Notice should require ‘the lessee to pay the same”; and
- The landlord must allow the tenant a ‘reasonable time’ to comply with any request in the Notice.
Failure to provide a compliant Notice can have serious consequences. As an example, a tenant may have a right to compensation for loss and damages, if an invalid Notice was relied upon by the landlord to “lock out” a tenant from the premises.
For more information regarding Notice to Remedy Breach
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