Tenants should obtain legal advice from a lawyer specialising in commercial leases on their rights and obligations surrounding flood affected properties.

The lawyer will consider all the terms of the leases (including damage/destruction/abatement of rent clauses) they are asked to review and advise upon, as each lease is potentially different.

Some leases may contain a term requiring either the landlord or the tenant to commence repairs within a limited time, or else there may be consequences e.g. a right to terminate the lease.

There may also be time constraints imposed on tenants notifying a landlord when damage occurs.

Similarly, there may be provisions contained in leases allowing for an abatement of rent in the event of damage or destruction and there may be strict notification periods that apply.

Where such terms are in place, it is the tenant’s responsibility to diarise the date and take action before the time limit passes.

By obtaining legal advice you will gain an understanding about the issues arising regarding commercial leases in the current circumstances and that advice should be sought as soon as possible to protect rights and interests.

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