Fellow OzBargainer, I'm reaching out to get some hopefully enlightening input from you:
Writing on behalf of a friend, the current situation summed up in a few words is the following:
Lease of a commercial property under the Commercial Lease Code 143 standard document by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria REIV since March 2017 through a managing agency for an initial 3 years lease agreement. Written notice of the intention to vacate the premise prior to the lease expiry has been given early November 2017 to the managing agency. The amendment of special conditions to the Commercial Lease standard lists the possibility for the tenant to procure a suitable replacement tenant which needs to be approved by the landlord and tenant if the tenant wishes to vacate.
So far so good, seems to be all some standard clause I guess? However, the agency does not seem to be in the interest of finding a new replacement tenant as efficient as possible. Yes, the property is listed on certain websites and a "For Lease" signboard has been put in front of the property.
After the friend advertised the property himself on certain portals, he has been told by the agency that they don't wish any interaction in this process by the current tenant. Also, they request a hefty increase of the monthly rent for the replacement tenant which seem to be unreasonable for the location and explains the low interest of potential tenants. The friend is in regular contact with the agency but gets always told the same excuses with no results. So far there have been a few inspections of the premise by potential replacement tenants with no success of an agreement.
Does this in anyway fall under the Australian Consumer Law which protects against unfair practices? Also, do you think the friend should actively get involved in the finding process against the agencies request to not to?
Final note: Considering to get a lawyer involved with no predictable outcome.
Any input/advises/personal experiences of leaving a commercial lease agreement prior to its expiry is highly appreciated.