The case of PL Town Hall Pty Ltd v Trust Co Ltd [2021] NSWSC 391 involved a dispute about a commercial tenancy agreement. PL Town Hall Pty Ltd (‘Priceline’), was a pharmaceutical company that failed to meet its rent requirements during the pandemic in one of its shops in the CBD. After serving a notice of termination of lease, the respondent eventually prevented Priceline from entering the premise.

In these proceedings, Priceline sought a mandatory interlocutory injunction allowing it to enter the premise to collect pharmaceutical and other stock, fixtures, confidential documents and chattels over a 7-day period. The difficulty of the case was determining what Priceline was entitled to remove from the premise, given the complexity of defining ‘plant and equipment’ and what items could be removed without causing damage to the premise.

In deciding whether the grant the injunction, the Court considered whether there was a serious question to be tried and whether the balance of convenience and questions of hardship and related factors warrant the grant of an interlocutory injunction. Importantly, Priceline had only a limited opportunity to retrieve its goods and that opportunity would not be available as final relief if not ordered at the interlocutory stage.

Priceline demonstrated that there were serious questions to be tried, but equity would require them to substantially comply with the previous consent orders which required a monthly occupation fee and a bank guarantee. The court ordered a 14-day licence for Priceline to recover the items under reasonable supervision of the respondent’s staff, on the condition that they provide the Court with an undertaking as to damages, and $88 188.58 as security for performance of their obligations, and paid the respondents further sums of $21 000 and $88 150.85 for access to the premises.

This case demonstrates the complexity of commercial tenancy agreement disputes.

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