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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23054
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We have rented a shop since mid April 2014. We paid the

Customer Question

We have rented a shop for retail since mid April 2014. We paid the monthly rental as advertised by Barfoot and Thompson on their website. The shop had been vacant for some months. We contacted Barfoot and Thompson to express our interest in renting the shop and they gave us the name and contact numbers of the landlord.
In April 2015 the landlords said the rental would rise by over 10%. We accepted this and paid the increased rental. They said that they needed to bring the rental in line with the 2007 valuation. We pointed our that after 2009 there was a recession and that a number of shops in this rural town were empty. In April 2016 we were sent a an e-mail saying that the rent would rise by another 10%. They said that we had had a discounted rate for the first year, that they had not changed us for a storage area downstairs and that we had been granted the first month rent free. None of this had ever been verified in writing and we had always paid the amount advertised (with storage area) in the Real estate advertising.
The rent was never discounted from the Land agent's advertisement (which included the storage area). We paid the first month rental as agreed with access for two weeks without charge in order to arrange phone, broadband f-post services and to organise an electricity provider and shop fittings. There was no waiving of rent after that. We did point out that first month's rentals arranged through a land agent usually would go to the land agent. The total shop was available for rent including the downstairs storage area. We began trading a month after paying the first rental payment.
With the demand for another 10% rise the rent will have risen 20% in just over a year. In this small town of Wellsford some businesses have been affected by the recent downturn in dairy prices. We would appreciate your comment.
Alix and Don McDowall for McDowall Traders. Ltd
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
Have you signed a formal deed of lease? Normally in a standard lease they cannot raise the rent except at certain points in the lease period, usually every two years and on proper notice. You can in a standard lease challenge the proposed increase by a rental arbitration. So the first repose is that if you have a standard lease then they cannot do this. But more information would help