The New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled in favour of NTT Australia in a office lease dispute with property services company Cover Genius Services (CGS).
Justice Julie Kathryn Ward ruled that the deed of assignment between the two companies is valid and enforceable and that both should proceed to a mediation and reach an agreement.
CGS is also directed to pay the costs of the proceedings, as well as $492,130.19 in unpaid rent, outgoings and other amounts payable and remains liable for such other amounts as per its lease agreement.
The case centres around the assignment of a lease of office premises in Sydney’s Clarence Street.
CGS signed on as a sub-lessor in an office leased by NTT from property manager Dexus Office Trust on 23 December 2019 and was set to run until 30 April 2020, court documents reveal. However CGS only signed the deed of assignment two weeks later on 7 January 2020.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CGS reached out to Dexus between 24 March to 27 April 2020 to negotiate any rental other form of assistance to help meet its obligations as a tenant. CGS said the economic environment at the time impacted its revenue and was seeking either a rental waiver or deferral with Dexus.
As CGS was sub-leasing under NTT via a contractual licence, the company did not officially hold a lease with Dexus. Dexus then billed $255,832.27 plus GST to NTT in unpaid rent and other dues from CGS.
CGS then took NTT to court, arguing that the sublease agreement was not valid and enforceable.
CRN has contacted NTT Australia for comment.