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Building Alteration Disputes

Legally reviewed by:
Wyn Legal team

Leases usually restrict the right of tenants to alter the demised premises. The purpose of this covenant is to protect the landlord from the tenant making alterations and additions which could damage their property interests. Where there is no such clause in the lease, tenants may be free to alter the premises within the demise. However, they may also be implied covenants that tenants need to be aware of. There may also be absolute prohibitions in relation to some alterations (e.g. structural). Some leases may have clauses which state building alterations can take place with the consent of the landlord which cannot be unreasonably withheld

Carrying out building alterations unlawfully can lead to landlords taking proceedings for:

  1. An injunction (to remove the alterations).
  2. Forfeiture and/or damages.

We can assist landlords with:

  1. Reviewing the lease.
  2. Interpreting alteration covenants.
  3. Considering whether to consent or refuse applications.
  4. Commencing injunctive action.
  5. Commencing forfeiture action.

We can assist tenants with:

  1. Establishing whether the building alterations are likely to breach the lease.
  2. Negotiating with their landlord for the building alterations to take place.
  3. Making applications on behalf of the tenant for the building alterations.
  4. Defending court action.