What to do if your Commercial Property has been flooded – Landlords & Tenants

As Townsville begins the mammoth task of cleaning up after this catastrophic flood event the true scale of the task will begin to hit home – not just where we ourselves live, but where we house our livelihoods.
Widespread reports and harrowing images of so many commercial properties and businesses suffering huge losses continue to surface. On top of water damage and mould, the lost income as a result of the inability to operate from their now unfit premises adds to the heartbreak.
Aside from the obvious clean up – navigating legal obligations with regard to the commercial property you own or lease can also be difficult. Not knowing what your obligations are as a Landlord or a Tenant can significantly add to the stress and hinder business recovery.
There are a few things Property Owners and Tenants should try to address immediately (after their safety of course).
1. Take lots of photos and videos of your property to document the damage sustained.
2. Review your Lease, whether you are a Landlord or a Tenant knowing your rights and responsibilities is very important.
Items to take note of include:
Maintenance & Repair and Indemnity & Release clauses – these will detail what you pay for following the damage.
Rent Abatement Details – rent may be reduced due to the inability of a tenant to operate from the premises.
Termination Rights – if damage isn’t rectified there may be grounds to terminate a lease agreement.
Insurance Rights – both Tenant and Landlord should review their insurance obligations detailed in lease and take action immediately.
3. Work Together – both Tenant and Landlord are suffering in this situation. The best and only way forward is to work together and try to keep an honest and open dialogue.
4. Consult Experts – Contact your insurer for guidance as well as your solicitor for advice on lease obligations.
5. Look for new or temporary property options – Townsville has a variety of vacant commercial properties which could be suitable for your business and enable you to get up and running while your current location undergoes repairs.
Helpful links:
   Townsville Business Development Centre
As a local small business owner passionate about helping Townsville businesses grow and succeed, iMCommercial’s Eliza Anderson is here to help with anything from a mere phone call for advice, to sharing a key contact or finding your business a new or temporary home. We will take the stress out of sourcing and negotiating on your behalf.
Contact Eliza directly on: 0407 858 310 | [email protected]

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