Retailers and business owners have been left devastated following the recent cancellation of retail leases at Toombul Shopping centre, which resulted from the February flooding. Our firm has received a number of enquiries from clients in relation to letters received by them informing them it is impracticable and undesirable to reinstate the centre due to its history of flooding.
This has left many retail and business owners in financial trouble due to no fault of their own. Despite media reports, there is no certainty as to what the future holds for the Toombul site. While we understand that some retail business owners have been offered financial support packages, often the support packages are not enough to cover the financial damage suffered by business owners.
Under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 a landlord is liable to pay tenants reasonable compensation for loss or damage suffered by the tenant on account of the premature termination of a lease due to extension, refurbishment or demolition of the retail shopping centre or leased building containing the shop.
In some circumstances, if the tenant has agreed to a relocation clause in the lease, they may be entitled to be paid compensation for loss of trade, recover relocation costs, and any legal costs associated. Additionally, if the landlord has decided to terminate the lease because of demolition, if the demolition is not carried out, or is not carried out within a reasonably practicable time after the termination date the landlord is liable to pay compensation to the tenant.
If you are a retail business owner affected by the recent closure of Toombul shopping centre, or find yourself in similar circumstances, we can assist in your claim against the landlord.