Will you be 'looked after' when it comes to the end of your lease?
A recent decision in the Victorian Court of Appeal considered the meaning of the words ‘looked after’ in the context of a landlord telling the tenant that they would be ‘looked after’ when it came time for the landlord to offer the premises for lease at the end of the term.
The tenants had originally wanted a 10 year lease, but reluctantly signed a 5 year lease (with no option period). The landlord told them that if the tenants refurbished the property during the 5 year term, then they would be ‘looked after’ when it came time for the landlord to either offer the premises to the tenant for a new term, or seek a new tenant.
The Court of Appeal decided that the words ‘looked after’ was not a promise by the landlord to offer the tenants a further lease. The Court could not treat this as an offer to the tenants, as there was no specific terms of an offer being mentioned.
This case illustrates that you should always have written correspondence from your landlord, rather than having to rely on comments made in passing.
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