Damages Under Commercial Leases – Part I

CCAn interesting legal point arose recently in a case that I conducted in the Local Court.  The question centred around the damages that a landlord is entitled to recover from a commercial tenant that breaches a lease.

Six months into the lease the tenant stopped making rental payments. Nine months into the lease, the tenant surrendered the keys to the premises and moved out.

Court proceedings were brought by the landlord and when the matter came before the Tamworth Local Court, about six months of the original lease term remained yet to expire.

The court had to consider whether the landlord was able to recover from the tenant, rental payments for three separate periods:

  1. the time between the tenant ceasing to make rental payments and surrendering the keys;
  2. the time between the tenant surrendering the keys and the date the matter was brought before the court; and
  3. the time between the court date and the end of the lease which was not due to expire for a further six months.
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