• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


Temporary Stay on Rental Evictions

Whilst legislation has not yet been passed, the Government has announced a temporary stay on rental evictions for tenants that cannot afford to pay their rent. The announcement is aimed at relieving the financial stress of individuals and businesses as a result of a loss of income or employment related to COVID-19.

Who is Covered?

The Governments announcement stated that the moratorium would apply to both commercial and residential tenants.

How Long will it Last?

As the law relating to tenancies is governed by the states and territories, each state and territory is responsible for enacting its own legislation.

Whilst Victoria is expected to pass legislation for the stay on evictions to last the next 6 months, other states have chosen to reduce the length of the stay. For example, Tasmania has already enacted legislation to stay evictions which will cease on 30 June 2020. However, the Tasmanian Parliament may exercise its discretion to extend this date.

What will the Stay Involve?

The stay is likely to mirror the legislation passed in Tasmania which provides that any notices to vacate by landlords will not have any affect until after the stay is lifted. Whilst it is still open to landlords to follow up overdue payments, they have limited rights of recourse to recoup those overdue payments. Accordingly, it is expected that landlords will draw on the bond as a means to assist their cash flow.

Liability of Tenants

It is important for both landlords and tenants to be aware that rental payments continue to become due and payable during the moratorium. This means that the landlord can issue a notice to vacate or take steps to vacate the tenant if the funds are still overdue after the 6 month period.

If tenants are considering ceasing to pay rent, we recommend that they:

  1. Check their lease to see if they will be liable to pay interest on any overdue payments;
  2. Compare their lease with the new legislation to see whether they are liable to pay a further bond if the landlord draws on the original bond;
  3. Ensure that they comply with the lease in every other aspect;
  4. Try to negotiate a resolution that is agreeable to the landlord in an effort to maintain a good relationship; and
  5. Seek advice as to whether the failure to pay rent will constitute a breach of the lease when exercising an option to renew.

Government Principles for Commercial Tenancies

In addition to the rental moratorium, the Government has agreed to a set of principles which “underpin and govern intervention to aid commercial tenancies”. We recommend that commercial landlords and tenants are familiar with these principles, some of which include:

  1. Encouraging tenants and landlords to agree to temporary amendments to leases (including rent relief);
  2. That tenants may seek mediation or conciliation to resolve any dispute with their landlord;
  3. That landlords and tenants not significantly affected by the crisis are expected to honour the terms of their lease; and
  4. That landlords and tenants consider cost-sharing losses.

The Government is considering which commercial tenants the principles will apply to. However, the Government has foreshadowed that the principles will apply to small to medium sized businesses with an annual turnover of up to $50 million with a reduction in revenue of 30% (making them eligible for the JobKeeper payment).

Options to Terminate a Lease

If you are a tenant looking to terminate your lease, we recommend seeking legal advice. You may have a ‘force majeure’ clause which may allow you to terminate the lease or you may have a fixed term lease which allows you to terminate the lease for ‘severe hardship’.

If you need assistance interpreting your lease or understanding the rental moratorium, please contact the Taurus Legal Management Team on (03) 9481 2000 or info@tauruslawyers.com.au.

Posted by Taurus Legal Management