Dear Sir/ Madam, I lease a child care centre property and building in NSW. I own the business. When I signed the new lease 3 years ago ( the lease was not assigned from the former tenant), a low, timber deck which surrounds two large trees in the back playground was present. The deck was constructed by the former tenant, as I understand, to eliminate the tripping hazard caused by the large protruding root system of the trees ( ficus benjamima). The deck sits on the ground and is only about 20-30 cm high. I think it was probbly constructed of treated pine though I cannot be sure. The landlord now requires me to raise the entire deck 75mm off the ground so it can be inspected for termites. The landlord states that the deck was constructed by her former tenant and was done without her permission, therefore I am responsible for the deck. I have been maintaining the deck by replacing broken boards as needed. In previous correspondence with the landlord I have accepted responsibility for the deck as part of the business. However, lifting the deck is probably impossible if not extremely expensive. Removing it would result in the tree roots again being a tripping hazard for the children. I have just spent $2500 on trimming the trees as the landlord has required. As the landlord now requires major changes to the deck, can you advise if I am responsible for making and paying for those alterations. Alternatively if the deck is removed then the tripping hazard posed would not pass DoCS regulations, removing the trees completely is another big expensie for me. Thank you Jennifer XXXXXX mob: XXXX XX XXXX
Thank you for your question. To Introduce myself I am a sydney based Solicitor and will do my best to provide you with relevant information to assist you.
Thanks for your response. I know the lease quite well and it does not mention the deck at all. I did get solicitor advice at the time. The landlord is disclaiming ownership to all fixtures as I have raised them as needing repair or replacement due to fair wear and tear (19 years old). The old lease was not assigned.
Yes okay thanks. I'm 99% certain the lease says all structural issues plus replacement due to fair wear and tear are her responsibility. However every time something needs doing, she says its my responsibility. termites have now been identified in the roof and she is claiming I have been negligent and wants me to pay for repair, termite barrier and other work. I'm not questioning your knowledge but if I go down this path with her, do you think it will hold up in court? Its unlikely she will take that path as she doesn't have the money to begin a court case, but I want to be certain I am on firm ground. Can I contact you again after I have read the lease more thoroughly, under this payment.
thanks, Im going away myself now for a couple of days so will read lease and the points you mention by end of this week and will touch basis again then. Best regards XXX XXXXXXXX.
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