Tenants win claim for new 5 year term

Despite no mention being made of additional terms in their leases, the operators of two restaurants in the Melbourne Casino and Entertainment Complex have succeeded in claims that they were entitled to additional 5 year terms. In Cosmopolitan Hotel (Vic) Pty Ltd v Crown Melbourne Limited and Fish and Company (Vic) Pty Ltd v Crown  Melbourne Limited (VCAT, unreported, 24 February 2012) the tenants, who operated the restaurants “Waterfront” and “Cafe Greco” successfully contended that Crown had breached a collateral contract that they would be granted an additional 5 year term after the expiry of the 5 year term provided for in their leases. The prinicipal of both tenants, Nicholas Zampelis, claimed that the tenants were induced to spend millions of dollars on fit-outs because of a promise that there existing leases would be renewed for a further term of 5 years. At the end of the intial 5 year term Crown refused to renew the leases and the areas occupied by “Waterfront” and “Cafe Greco” were leased to new tenants. Crown denied the existence of any collateral contract. Damages are to be assessed. In an article published in the Sunday Age on 4 March 2012 a representative of Crown is reported to have said that Crown will appeal.

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