Tenancy laws can be tough and variant

Tenancy laws can be tough and variant

Khushbu Sundarji

Before you occupy any commercial premises, you should enter into a Deed of Lease (“Lease”) with the Landlord.

As a Tenant, you will have the right to occupy the premises owned by the Landlord as long as you abide by the terms of the Lease.

Here are some items that you should look at before you sign the Lease:

Rent and Outgoings

The main obligation of a Tenant is to pay the rent and outgoings to the Landlord.

You should check to see if the rent is appropriate for the premises. If you are unsure, you can talk to a property valuer or an accountant before you sign the Lease.

The Landlord will also advise the outgoings that it charges for the premises. The outgoings can include items such as the costs of maintaining the premises, rates, water and other utilities. You should ask the Landlord for an estimate and a schedule of the outgoings.

Permitted Use of Premises

The Lease will state the permitted use of the premises and the use will be agreed between the parties prior to the Lease being executed. If you wish to amend the use, you must seek the consent of the Landlord in writing.

In the event you change the permitted use without seeking the consent of the Landlord, this will be considered a breach of the Lease by the Landlord.

Property and your assets

The Lease should specify any chattels or items that are owned by the Landlord and tenant respectively. If you are installing items in the premises, make sure that the Lease reflects that you own those assets. If you are unsure if any item is owned by the Landlord, it is best to ask the Landlord as soon as possible as you will be responsible for all maintenance relating to your assets.

Tenant’s obligations

You have various obligations under the Lease.

These include payment of all rent, outgoings and any other payments due to the Landlord, maintaining and repairing the premises if necessary including care of grounds if you are leasing the whole property.

Landlord’s obligations

The Landlord also has obligations under the Lease. These include drafting and issuing the Lease and any Deed of Rent Review and renewal, specifying the terms of their insurance for the premises, maintaining the premises and repair any structural defects if necessary and ensuring that the Premises has a Building Warrant of Fitness.

Termination and vacation

The events that can lead to the Landlord terminating your Lease include non-payment of rent or outgoings, breaching any other term of the Lease or attempting to assign the Lease without Landlord’s consent.

Termination of the Lease by the Landlord does not stop your obligation to pay any amounts owed to the Landlord.

Prior to vacating the premises, you must pay all outstanding rent and outgoings, and any other payment due to the Landlord. You will also need to remove all of your property from the Premises and restore the premises to the condition it was as at the commencement of the lease.

This includes fixing any damage caused during the term of the Lease or damage caused when you removed property from the premises.

This will not apply to any damage that has occurred during the lease term that is ‘fair wear and tear’, that is, use that occurred from normal use of the premises over the term of your Lease.

Understanding the Deed

A Deed of Lease is a legally binding contract which sets out the terms of the relationship between you and the Landlord, so it is essential that you understand what your rights and obligations are under the Lease before you sign it. If you have any queries or are unsure about any terms of the Lease, you should a qualified legal professional.

Khushbu Sundarji is an Associate at Stewart Germann Law Office. Phone: (09) 3089925

Email: khushbu@germann.co.nz; Website: www.germann.co.nz

Legal Disclaimer: The above article should be considered only a general guideline and not as specific advice. Indian Newslink and its Management, Stewart Germann Law Office and Khushbu Sundarji absolve themselves of all obligations in this connection. Please consult your lawyer and/or accountant before taking up any business mentioned in the above article.

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