We have Travel agency in Auckland and since COVID 19 unable to work from the office. We offered five months rent to the

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Customer: We have Travel agency in Auckland and since COVID 19 unable to work from the office. We offered five months rent to the landlord to terminate the lease. He has now filed a case i High court for liquidation of our company. What recourse do we have?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Auckland
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We offered him five months rent to terminate the lease
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thanks
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 1 min 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

Customer
thanks
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Have you asked for any relief due to Covid? Are you personal guarantors of the lease? How long does the lease have to run? It can be hard to defend these cases unfortunately, because if the lease isnt paid then they can apply to liquidate your company

Customer
we have asked for relief due to covid
Customer
we have asked for rent relief. Yes i am a personal gurantor. It is 2 years for the lease to run out. We are Australian residents
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you are in Australia they can enforce a New Zealand judgment for the guarantee in Australia, although it is expensive for them to do so. If the company is insolvent and unable to trade this may be inevitable

Customer
Does it mean I have to pay the outstanding rent? Company in NZ is not trading at the moment. Will it have any affect om me personally in Australia?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

It depends on whether they try to enforce the personal guarantee in Australia-at that point you may need to either pay but you should try to find a replacement tenant. They cannot reject a suitable tenant. You could delay the liquidation by arguing you have not been given relief under the lease because of Covid 19 (if they have not given you any relief)

Customer
Can we do an arbitration before court date to resolve the issue? If it goes to High court how long can we delay the liquidation? Is it possible to call you later to discuss?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You could invoke the arbitration clause and use this to hold off the liquidation-that would possibly get you a month or two or more delay

Customer
Is the arbitration clause part of the lease or a clause under law?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you have the standard ADLS lease it is part of the lease, as is the right to relief for Covid issues

Customer
I will check my lease. If it is not part of the lease where do I apply for arbitration?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You can nominate an arbitrator from aminz.org.nz

Customer
Does the landlord agree to arbitration?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you ask and he refuses this could slow down the liquidation, as you have the right to arbitrate

Customer
Do I need to inform High court that I have applie for arbitration before the date in court?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You need to make a formal application for a stay of the liquidation

Customer
Could you or your firm help in arbitration to finish tha case? if yes what would the fixed fee be?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Yes, the fees would be fairly substantial-the High Court stay would be around $5000 and the arbitration a similar amount

Customer
Okay thanks. Just one las question where do i find the form for stay of liquidation. Is the number you are texting me from the number I should call you later to discuss about the appointment
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

No-if you wanted to brief me off site you should contact me at www.lahatte.lawyer

Customer
Thanks I will look up the website.Just one last question where do i find the form for stay of liquidation
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That is a form under the High Court rules and requires an application and affidavit in support

Customer
Thanks
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