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Landlords Considering Imminent Legal Action Over Masters

The legal and financial shadow of Masters continues to hang over Woolworths, with a report out of BusinessDay saying that landlords who leased their sites to Woolworths for use as Masters stores are “considering imminent legal action.”

The landlords are looking to challenge Woolworths’ right to hand control of its leasing obligations to Home Consortium, whose commercial intentions conflict with their own wishes.

This builds on earlier reports that former-Masters landlords had begun issuing breach notices back in October.

One landlord told the Sydney Morning Herald that Home Consortium had offered to replace Masters with Bunnings as a tenant at lower rent and refused to cover any of the loss.

If successful, the legal action could derail both Woolworths’ efforts to wash its hands of the disaster and Home Consortium’s plans to put national retail tenants into those 21 sites.

However, some have suggested that talk of legal action could be intended as a negotiating tactic to help disgruntled landlords extract the a better deal from the Home Consortium.

“I think a lot of this is just posturing,” one source told the Sydney Morning Herald.