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Commercial leasing disputes

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief for commercial tenants and landlords

Read about the range of assistance and support implemented by the Queensland and Australian governments for commercial tenants and landlords.

A lease is a legally binding contract. Once signed, you are obliged to comply with all terms such as paying rent, for the full term of the lease.

If a tenant or landlord wishes to change the lease, this must be done in writing. Verbal agreements to change the lease are not binding.

It is important that both the tenant and the landlord understand and agree to the lease conditions. This will minimise disputes. It is essential that all terms and conditions in the lease are clearly worded and cannot be misread.

Common areas for confusion include rent increases and lease renewals. Keep a copy of your lease in a safe place so you can find it easily if you need to check the wording of a clause. If you are not sure what something means, ask your solicitor to explain it to you.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) lease disputes

If your commercial or retail shop lease dispute is due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be support available to you as a tenant or landlord.

The Queensland Government has introduced regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, in response to the mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing (PDF, 235KB) released by the Australian Government.

Find out more about how the regulations and the code applies to commercial tenancies.

Third-party resolution support

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation is an alternative to going to court to resolve your dispute. ADR is generally quicker and cheaper than court, gives you more control over the outcome and is more likely to preserve the relationship between landlord and tenant.

Use our dispute resolution referral tool to understand which service you should contact to help you with your dispute.

If you can't reach a resolution through an ADR process such as mediation, you can take the matter to court or a tribunal for a decision. This step should be the last resort—court is expensive, time consuming and the outcome is out of your control.

Disputes under $25,000 are handled by QCAT. Disputes over $25,000 are handled by the Queensland Courts system. The Magistrates Court can determine civil claims with a value up to $150,000, the District Court between $150,000 and $750,000 and the Supreme Court over $750,000.

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