If you are the owner of a small business and your lease is subject to the Act, it is important to know that you are entitled to compensation if the lessor interrupts your business in certain circumstances.

Section 43 of the Act provides that you are entitled to reasonable compensation “for loss or damage suffered …” because the lessor restricts your access to the shop or that of your customers. If the lessor causes significant disruption to your trading, you may also have a claim for compensation. Furthermore, if the lessor neglects to “clean, maintain or re-paint the retail shopping centre”, you may have a claim as well as if you are caused to vacate your shop before the end of the lease.

According to Section 46K of the Act, reasonable compensation may include damages for early termination plus money spent on the fit-out of the business.

In the recent Queensland Supreme Court case of Laldy Pty Ltd v Archer & Ors [2016] 257, in considering compensation, it was important to determine whether the lease has been terminated prior to the demolition taking place. On the basis that the vacating of the shop was not caused by premature commencement of demolition works, the Court ultimately held that no compensation had to be paid.

Because the lessor was entitled to terminate the lease pursuant to the terms of the lease, the lessees were not entitled to any compensation as the lease had ended before the demolition.