Emil Ford Lawyers

Landlords and tenants should make sure that any notice they give is clear

Make sure that any notice you give is clear

In the case, Finishing Service P/L v Lactos French P/L (2007) ANZ ConvR 93, the lease provided that the landlord could give a rent review notice to the tenant.  The landlord sent a letter to the tenant which the landlord intended to be a rent review notice.  The letter referred to the landlord’s assessment of the new rent.  Under the lease, the tenant had 30 days in which to object to a rent assessment in a rent review notice, but the tenant did not object within that time.  The tenant argued that the notice was not valid because it was not clear to the tenant that it was a rent review notice.   The court said that the tenant should have understood what the notice was about.  The result was that the tenant was bound by the landlord's rent assessment and could not object to it.
The court said that the notice could not reasonably be read to suggest anything other than that a claim to a new and increased annual rental of $435,920 was being made.


Both landlords and tenants should understand the requirements of their lease and make sure that any notice they give is clear, otherwise they may become involved in costly legal proceedings.

Comply with formalities for giving a notice

Sometimes simple attention to detail will help landlords and tenants avoid being involved in court proceedings.
A director of a tenant company sent a letter to the director of the landlord company exercising an option. The letter said:
“I would like to take up the option to extend the second term of my lease as within accordance of the current lease”.  
The director of the landlord company contacted the director of the tenant company and said that the option had not been exercised properly because:
1. the notice was addressed to the director of the tenant company, not to the company, and
2. the notice was sent by the director of the tenant company and not “for and on behalf of” the tenant company.  
The court said that although it would have been better if the notice had been properly prepared, it was effective.  


If a notice is not properly prepared and clear as to its intention, you run the risk of the other party involving you in time consuming and expensive court action. 


Garry Pritchard - Accredited Property Specialist

Please note that this newsletter does not contain legal advice. You should always obtain your own legal advice based on the particular circumstances of your case.


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