• Commercial & Business Law

    Commercial & Business Law

    We are first and foremost commercial & business lawyers in Melbourne for people.  Our team will work with you to develop, manage and execute your business plan while ensuring you exploit opportunities, manage risks and achieve commercial success.  

    LEARN MORE
  • Dispute Resolution & Litigation

    Dispute Resolution & Litigation

    We are litigation lawyers in Melbourne specialised in commercial litigation and dispute resolution, we appreciate that resolving a dispute requires more than just following court processes. You can trust Taurus to be in your corner, and fight to deliver results.

     

    LEARN MORE
  • Property & Conveyancing

    Property & Conveyancing

    Enhanced by a wealth of experience, Taurus’ conveyancing lawyers in Melbourne can assist you with all of your conveyancing needs.

    Whether you are selling or purchasing your dream home, we are experienced in handling the conveyance to ensure the smooth settlement of your property.  We successfully perform all steps of your conveyance from reviewing or drafting the Contract of Sale through to confirming settlement has been completed with your real-estate agent.

    We are passionate about providing exemplary personal service to every client and understand that we are here to assist you during one of your most exciting and stressful transactions. We ensure that all of our clients are provided with regular updates and use our own portal allowing clients to login to view the progress of their transaction at any time.

    The conveyancing lawyers at Taurus are registered with PEXA and experts in their field.

    LEARN MORE
  • Intellectual Property

    Intellectual Property

    One of the most valuable assets of any business is its intellectual property. We as intellectual property lawyers Melbourne empower our clients to protect their brand, systems and confidential information by offering them a broad range of legal services related to their IP.

    LEARN MORE
  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy

    Insolvency & Bankruptcy

    We act on behalf of business lawyers, creditors, debtors, and insolvency practitioners in a variety of re-structuring and insolvency matters.

    LEARN MORE
  • Debt Recovery

    Debt Recovery

    We will recover your debts as if they were our own. For many owners, directors, and managers, debt recovery is one of the most confronting and challenging aspects of running a business. It is also crucial to the cash flow of the business, and therefore critical to its financial success.

    LEARN MORE
  • Employment Law

    Employment Law

    We help our clients meet the demands and challenges of managing their workforce.

    We have a team of employment solicitors can assist in any employment law matter ranging from drafting employment agreements to giving termination advice and handling unfair dismissal applications.

    LEARN MORE
ENQUIRE

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