Commercial Lease matters can usually be dealt with through VCAT where Leasees/Landlords may apply to resolve Commercial Lease Disputes and Retail Tenancy Disputes. Velos & Velos have extensive experience in this field of law and are able to provide sound and timely advice.
Are you a tenant in a Retail Tenancy lease?
The Retail Tenancies List provides for the resolution by VCAT of applications ‘by a landlord or tenant under a retail premises lease, or by a specialist retail valuer, seeking resolution of a retail tenancy dispute’. If you are a tenant in a retail tenancy and are in dispute with your landlord, the Small Business Commissioner can seek to resolve the dispute before it develops into legal action. Unless you are applying for an urgent injunction, you may contact the Office of the Small Business Commissioner and Velos & Velos for assistance.
How will disputes be dealt with?
Where the amount of a claim is $15,000 or less, a small claims procedure will be adopted. The dispute will be referred to a one and a half hour mediation which may be extended to two hours. If the dispute has not resolved in the course of the mediation, it will be referred to immediate hearing on the same day conducted by a tribunal member.
Claims for more than $100,000 will be the subject of a preliminary hearing where the filing of points of claim, statement of evidence, etc. will be considered and a hearing date will be fixed for the determination of the dispute. The Registrar may refer these larger matters to mediation at any stage either before or after the preliminary hearing.
Claims ranging from $15,000 to $100,000 are referred first to mediation. If they do not resolve, a preliminary hearing will be conducted to give directions for the final hearing.
VCAT can make a range of remedies including orders requiring parties to do or refrain from doing various things, to pay money, surrender possession of leased premises, to grant injunctions or to vary or rescind leases and other contracts. The tribunal will adopt as informal a procedure as possible consistent with ensuring that each party has a proper opportunity to be heard and to challenge any evidence brought against that party. Each party will be given the opportunity to call witnesses, cross examine the other party’s witnesses and make submissions.