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Commercial Leases

September 2020

Seeking to update the terms by way of variation

Arrangements regarding leases have been a hot topic with the recent business disruptions due to COVID19 and have highlighted that not every Deed of Lease is the same.   

A Deed of Lease can be in place for a long time with renewals and variations extending the lease.  Accordingly, a Landlord and Tenant are very often not operating under the terms of a lease that is up to date with current provisions covering such matters as what should happen if the Tenant is unable to gain access to the Property.  

For example, older Deeds of Lease often do not include provisions addressing what happens if the Tenant is unable to access the Premises due to an emergency.  The older Leases often only address what happens if the Premises are damaged or destroyed and have no provisions dealing with what happens when a Tenant is unable to access the Premises for other reasons such as when restrictions are put in place by a government authority.

More modern Deeds of Lease will often include provisions around a fair proportion of the rent and outgoings ceasing to be payable where the Tenant cannot occupy the Premises due to restrictions put in place by any competent authority.

These amendments were included in more modern leases following the fall-out from the Christchurch earthquakes.

If you are operating under an old lease we would recommend a good time for a Tenant to consider requesting a variation to the Lease, to bring it up to date with what are the current recommended provisions, would be at the time of any rent review or renewal.

We can assist with preparation of commercial lease documentation and negotiations for either a Landlord or Tenant.