Retail and Commercial Leases
A business property lease or commercial lease is a legally binding contract between a business owner and the owner of the real estate property.
These documents are a good deal more complicated than residential leases, because the lease is usually heavily customised to the individual situation. The lease terms and conditions need to be very carefully read by a lawyer who has experience in Commercial Leases to make sure that they match the needs of your business, as any mistakes at the beginning could make or break your new business.
Some examples of a Commercial lease may be for Office space, a Factory Unit, Workshop or warehouse.
A Retail Lease is similar to a Commercial Lease which is prepared in accordance with the Retail Leases Act. There are special provisions which must be complied with to ensure that the Lease is valid and enforceable. It is essential to obtain legal advice from a lawyer who is experienced in retail leases to ensure that the document reflects the agreement between the parties.
Can I negotiate the terms?
Yes, lease terms are often negotiable and our leasing lawyers can assist you though the process. The specific terms or restrictions which may be up for negotiation include a rent free period, rental amount, annual increases, the duration of the lease, the agreed use of he premises, the fitout, any maintenance you are required to do to the property and whether you can transfer or assign the lease.
What to look for?
This is hard to answer without knowing your specific situation and your business requirements. Our Commercial lawyers have drafted, negotiated and advised on hundreds of leases and know exactly what to look for. Some of the common things our leasing lawyers need to discuss with clients include:
- If you are starting new business, we make sure that the length of the lease suits you, many landlords prefer to sign in longer leases.
- How to calculate rental increases to make sure you understand the one you have agreed to.
- Read the section on property improvements very carefully as it should set out who can make changes, who pays for the modifications and whether you have to return the property to it’s original condition at the end of the lease.
- Make sure the lease includes all of the areas you expect to use restroom facilities, parking and outdoor areas.
- Be careful that the lease doesn’t stop you from erecting signs in certain areas.
It is essential that you seek legal advice from a Commercial Lawyer before you make any commitments, like signing an offer to lease, paying a deposit, making alterations or or moving equipment into the property.
What if I am in a dispute with my landlord?
Lease disputes occur from time to time and often come up unexpected. There are many reasons why a dispute may arise such as non payment of rent, air conditioning, facilities not working, water ingress, renewal of an option and market review. It is advised that you engage the services of an experienced commercial lawyer and that you do not try to resolve the issue yourself as that may have the potential to make the matters worse.