Demand a rent reduction – It’s the law
Although your lease agreement is a contract with your landlord, it will contain express (or implied) clauses regarding rent reduction in certain circumstances. If you are unable to use the property, you may be eligible for a rent reduction. Your rent must normally be reduced where:
- The premises have been destroyed – i.e. flooding, fire, cyclone, etc.
- It’s uninhabitable – i.e. the discovery and removal of asbestos, mould, or termite infestation.
- It is illegal – the property has been rezoned and is no longer usable for your business purposes.
- Gather evidence supporting your claim for a rent reduction, such as photographs and independent inspection reports.
- Provide a written rent reduction request (including supporting evidence), to the landlord.
- If you can’t come to a negotiated agreement with your landlord, apply to the relevant state court or tribunal to make a legal determination regarding the maximum rent payable during the period the premises were unusable. You will still need to pay your rent until such a determination is made.