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Can a landlord demand full rent when they shut their own premises in Covid?

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by Twinkle Toes!, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Twinkle Toes!

    Twinkle Toes! Welcome New Poster


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    Hi all!
    I work within a dental clinic renting a room. The owners had to shut the clinic for quite a few months due to Covid. They arranged for my patient’s phone calls to be forwarded on to me so I could arrange to carry out appointments at my other clinic. The clinic owners are now demanding I pay full rent for the period they shut & have sent me a threatening letter!
    Incidentally, they have neglected the premises terribly & refuse to keep up with maintenance. I have no heating in my room, the front door has been smashed ( BLM riot) broken steps, rusty handrails at the front entrance etc. but they refuse to pay out any money sorting these issues out. I’ve brought this to their attention a number of times to no avail.
    I’ve been a pod 20 years & I’m always busy & I've brought many patients to their dental practice. It’s made me feel very hurt & perhaps it’s now the time to leave.
    I’m waiting for legal advice organised by COP but I wondered if anyone out there has had similar issues with rent? Are reduced rent rates being accepted by landlords for reduced incomes etc.?
    Any comments much appreciated....
     
  2. Mark_M

    Mark_M Active Member

    As far as Im aware in Australia, there has been no rent relief for commercial premises.
    My Landlord increased my rent (by 5%) as written in my lease. Although I managed to trade the entire time.
    A few of my collegues have nice landlords and were given 3 months free.
    From the lanlords point of view they still have outgoings/mortgages on their property.

    Your situation is a little different as you are sharing premises. If the dentist locked you out of the building, they would breach your lease. They should have opened the building for you, allowing you to continue trading.
     
  3. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    You need to get your lawyer involved. I suspect it is what Mark said, they breached the contract by locking you out.
     
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