Home – New Forums Money matters Need some help re. the legalities of floating flooring!

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  • #982226
    melly13
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    Hi everyone!

    I am sorry I haven’t introduced myself first – I often read these forums but have never posted. I have been in retail business for 5 years, with two shops.

    I am a sort of DIY type of person – I do my own tax and act on my own behalf in legal matters. However now an unusual legal problem has cropped up, and I don’t know where to go advice as I don’t have a solicitor. So i was hoping someone here might have some ideas?

    Basically, we moved into our second shop about 1.5 years ago. Everything was great. We were told we had at least 5 years there. This is when a lawyer would have been a good idea, but alas, live and learn. We were on a periodic lease. They owners decided to sell the shop to developers and we were out.

    When we moved in the shop was very basic. And old free stander with old, timber floors (not in terrible condition, but they didn’t suit the look of our shop – they were very dark and our shops has light, ‘beachy’ looking shop fittings). So we laid floating laminate flooring.

    We have obviously had to move and would like to use the flooring at our new shop. It’s an expensive high quality laminate, it’s worth moving after a year. However the new owner of the shop is adamant that he bought the flooring along with the shop. But the way I see it, that’s really not my problem. I have been quite reasonable and offered to sell him the flooring at product cost (not including the cost of install that was about $1500) but he won’t pay it. So I have told him we will be removing our flooring and restoring the shop to the condition it was in when we moved in.

    The way I see it, the flooring is not a fixture. It’s floating. And regardless of that, we had it installed and our lease basically says when we leave the shop to leave it in the same condition it was in when we moved in.

    My lease finishes on the 15th. I have told the owner I will be removing my flooring. But he has told me if I attempt to removed the flooring he will involve the police. It seems crazy to me.

    I would very much appreciate anyone’s opinions. Thanks!
    Melly.

    #1135631
    Greg_M
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    I’m not sure about the legals, but it does “sound” like fixture.

    How is this flooring fixed? I might not be a legal eagle but I have been in building a long time.

    Usually it’s glued, if it’s fixed straight to the old floor, I would have doubted you’d get it up cleanly enough for re use. Removing glues from an existing floor is often a major task, assuming you don’t damage the existing floor material doing it.

    Even if you’re in the right, be a bit careful you don’t cost yourself more than the floors worth trying to take it.

    #1135632
    melly13
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    Thanks for your reply!

    They are click system, so no glue used. They simply click together (and unclick easily too!).

    Thanks!
    Melly

    #1135633
    Greg_M
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    Definitely worth retrieving then, makes it sound even more like a fixture … that legal advice sounds essential.

    I just had nightmare memories of removing glue from floors in shops :)

    #1135634
    melly13
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    Thanks for your reply!

    It’s terrible, because although we were told by the selling agent that these new owners were developers, and that we had to vacate, the new owners have now advertised the property for rent at a higher rent.

    The way I see it, we came in, ‘renovated’ the property (installed the laminate flooring, painted, cleaned it all up and had it looking much nicer). And the sellers benefit from our cost and labour in the sale. It seems completely unfair, but I guess legally I might not be able to do much. But if I could at least get the flooring I would be somewhat happy!!

    #1135635
    Greg_M
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    Wonder if fittings and fixtures were included in the original contract of sale, might have been slightly misrepresented by the original owner, or the agent (na, an agent would never do that).

    Do your original lease mention fixtures? I’ve only ever had one commercial lease on a premises, but from memory it was pretty specific and I had to leave it as I found it.

    I had to remove everything, accept a couple of items by agreement I didn’t want, but had improved the property (owners discretion).

    #1135636
    CindyK
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    Hi,

    I’m not a lawyer etc, but check your original lease again carefully. One of our clients has a current lease that oddly, says that everything must be returned to the original state upon surrendering the lease BUT anything laid on the floors at any time, including any carpets, mats, boards, tiles or rugs will become and remain the property of the landlord as soon as they are laid.

    Very odd. We found this included all office plastic protective mats as well, the ones you put roller chairs on.

    Since they sound so difficult might be good to go straight to a professional. Have you tried ringing any? A while back, we needed a specific type of lawyer and I rang around the offices that said they did the work. Some were very short, but I did find two helpful gentlemen (seperate firms) who were willing to offer a flat rate consult price to discuss it and also were happy to listen to our issue over the phone and say yay or nay to assisting. I found that helped to find the right professional without costing too much to find them.

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