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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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Madam My husband and I have been leasing a property in the

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam
My husband and I have been leasing a property in the Australian Capital Territory to Defence Housing Australia (DHA) for almost 17 years. DHA has reduced the term of the lease by approximately 11 months. They have offered us a payout in lieu of the rent, however, my concern is that they have reduced the payout amount by over $1,300 for management fees and GST.
The handback of the property was due to take place next Wednesday 18 November.
My question to them was "how can they charge us management/GST fees when they no longer hold a lease over the property"?
I have read the lease and the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987 and there are no clauses in the lease, nor sections in the Act which provide for these proposed charges being applied.
We have refused DHA's offer for this reason.
While the offer I assume would be based on the weekly rent we were receiving, in my view they are separate issues and one cannot be paid for a service one is not providing.
In addition, I have not been able to locate any policies on the DHA website at all and in any case the legislation would no doubt override a policy.
Your advice would be appreciated.
Yours faithfully
xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

Do you have a copy of the lease? They have to comply with the lease and you should be looking at a clause that says early termination.

Can you email me the lease to [email protected] answer.com

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not in a position at this time to forward a copy of the lease. I have read Clause 17 of the lease (Expiry of the Lease Term) which specifies "On the expiry or earlier termination of the Lease Term" and it refers only to the maintenance/cleanliness etc of the property when DHA surrenders possession of the property to the Landlord. It does not mention offers in relation to a payout amount for early termination.Clause 11 of the lease, "Payment of Rent" specifies when the rent is to be paid, how monthly, weekly and daily rent is calculated and how DHA pays the rent to the Landlord i.e. by cheque, electronic funds transfer etc so is not useful.Clause 12, "Management Function" is also not helpful as it refers to payment on behalf of Landlord outgoings, paying insurance premiums, arranging compliance of repair and maintenance obligations, itemising monthly receipts and outgoings and carrying out inspections etc.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

I need to read them to see what it says.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I said I am not currently in a position to send the lease and I have advised you, on the whole, what the only relevant clauses are and basically what they say. If this is not sufficient then I withdraw my question.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

I understand

I am happy to wait until you can

If you cannot send them at all then I can seek you get a refund

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like a refund please as my responses from you have been most unsatisfactory.