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Ensuring Smooth Transactions for

Commercial and Retail Leasing

Whether you are looking to lease retail or commercial premises in Sydney, our team of leasing lawyers are dedicated to assisting you with preparing or negotiating the lease agreement. We offer fixed-fee quotes for all jobs to give you certainty during this period of your business.

We’ll work closely with you well before you enter into a lease for two primary reasons, firstly your risks will be substantially minimised and second, working with you in advance of signing any agreement will ensure that your expectations and goals are met within the deadlines you are working to.

Sydney Retail Lease

In New South Wales, retail leases are leases for retail purposes and governed by the Retail Leases Act 1994.

The most common type of retail leases (not larger than 1,000 square metres) include, but not limited to, restaurants, beauticians, barbers, bookshops, comic shops, duty free shops, dry cleaners, florist, hairdressers, jewellery stores, pharmacy, seafood stores, supermarkets, tobacconist, vitamins shops and many more.

If you are looking to enter into a retail lease, it is vital to understand your rights and obligations before signing the retail lease which is a legally binding agreement.   The retail lease aims at defining the obligations of each party during the term of the lease.

Acting for Tenants

If you are a tenant looking to lease retail premises, our retail leasing lawyers can assist with:

  • Reviewing the lease, disclosure statement and associated documents;
  • Advising you on the terms and conditions of the lease;
  • Negotiating amendments to the terms of the lease;
  • Ensuring the lease is finalised and completed;
  • Enforcing the terms and conditions of the retail lease including rent review, sub-letting, sub-leasing, surrender, assignment and variation to the lease;
  • Ensuring your requirements are effectively covered in the lease; and
  • Dispute resolution (including NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

Acting for Landlord

If you have found a tenant for your retail premises, our retail leasing lawyers can assist with:

  • Drafting the retail lease, disclosure statement and other relevant documents;
  • Negotiating terms and conditions of the retail lease with the tenant or the tenant’s representative;
  • Reviewing proposed amendments;
  • Advising you on the retail lease and the proposed amendments;
  • Ensuring the retail lease is finalised, executed and completed;
  • Ensuring your requirements are effectively covered in the retail lease; and
  • Dispute resolution (including NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

Some tenants and landlord will often not see eye to eye on certain matters, however, in some cases, the dispute escalates beyond the mechanisms of the lease.  If this is the case, our retail leasing lawyers will handle the matter whereby the disputes are often handled and heard by NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (formerly dealt with by the Retail Leases Division of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal).

Sydney Commercial Leases

Having leased and operated our business at commercial premises, we understand the significance of the commercial lease reflecting the terms negotiated with the landlord.

A commercial lease is essentially an agreement to operate from commercial premises for a specified time and rent amount.   Whether you are the tenant or the landlord, a commercial lease is a binding agreement, which should be carefully considered so that you know your rights and obligations.

Key consideration in commercial leases includes lease term, options to renew, rent, rent review, outgoings, repairs, and maintenance, permitted use, personal guarantees, sub-leasing, insurance, fit out, assignment, transfer, costs and operating hours.

Commercial leases are generally covered pursuant to the Real Property Act 1990 (NSW) and Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW).

Acting for Tenant

If you are looking to lease a commercial property, our commercial leasing solicitors can assist with:

  • Reviewing the lease and providing advice on key aspects of the lease;
  • Negotiating the terms of the lease with the landlord or their representatives;
  • Ensuring you understand the lease;
  • Assist with executing and finalising the lease process;
  • Enforcing the terms and conditions of the lease including rent review, sub-letting, sub-leasing, surrender, transfer, assignment, and variation;
  • Ensuring your requirements are effectively covered in the lease; and
  • Dispute resolution (including NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

Acting for Landlord

If you are a landlord looking to lease your commercial premises, our commercial leasing lawyers can assist with:

  • Drafting and negotiating terms and conditions of the commercial lease;
  • Reviewing proposed amendments received;
  • Advising you on the lease and the proposed amendments;
  • Ensuring the lease is finalised, executed and completed;
  • Ensuring your requirements are effectively covered in the lease;
  • Reviewing and advising on the tenant’s exercise of rights under the lease; and
  • Dispute resolution (including NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal).

Some tenants and landlord will often not see eye to eye on certain matters, and in some cases the dispute escalates beyond the mechanisms of the lease.  If this is the case, our commercial leasing lawyers will handle the matter whereby the disputes are often handled and heard by NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (formerly dealt with by the Retail Leases Division of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal).

Commercial Leasing FAQs

At times, the legal jargon and terminology that you hear thrown at you from every department and industry can be a little baffling and daunting. When it comes to leasing of commercial real estate, it can feel like you are being given specific terminology to keep you confused. We want to make sure that you are informed every step of the way, so this FAQ should help answer any questions you may have about commercial leasing in New South Wales.

What is a Commercial Lease?

A commercial lease is a legally binding agreement between the owner (also known as the Lessor or Landlord) of a commercial property and the Tenant (also known as the Lessee or Tenant), commonly a business who requires a physical space to operate from.

The lease generally sets out the rights and obligations of each party during the lease and even after the lease has expired.

It is important to understand the entire commercial lease before signing on the dotted lines.

What Terms and Conditions are Commonly Found in Commercial Leases?

As a general guide, Commercial Leases commonly include the term of the lease, option to renew, permitted use, rent review, rent abatement, operation hours, payment of expenses, outgoings, security deposits, permitted uses, repairs, maintenance, relocation, demolition, costs, insurance requirements and the rights and obligations of both the Landlord and Tenant.

Are Commercial Leases Negotiable?

Typically, yes. It is common for the Landlord and Tenant to negotiate and agree to the main aspects of the commercial lease such as lease term, rent amount, permitted use, fit out requirements, rent review, commencement dates, type of security, subleasing, contributions and any other requirements.

What Should I Be Looking For?

Every business is different, and therefore your requirements may totally vary to someone who even sells the same products or services – therefore, there is no standard lease for commercial premises.

Instead, make sure that you are looking into things like the length of the lease and if that will suit you, and make sure that the costs are going to be easily covered on your part and whether the lease suites your business.

If you are not sure what you should be looking out for, please contact us on 1300 667 461.

How Long is the Lease?

It varies completely and is agreed between the Tenant and the Landlord – all that is certain is that it must have a specific date set for commencement and termination.  For example, leases are known to have a term of 3 years to 5 years and even 10 years.

What is the Current Rent Rate for a Commercial Premises?

Rent is the amount payable to the Landlord for leasing the commercial premises. The amount payable will depend on the many factors such as a type of premises, location, surrounding areas and the like.

Once the rent amount is determined, the type of rent review may be agreed by the parties. The most common type of methods for rent review are:

  1. Consumer Price Index;
  2. Market Review; and
  3. Fixed Increase.

Is Renewal of a Commercial Lease allowed?

If the lease contains an option to renew, the Tenant may exercise the option which allows the Tenant to continue to lease the premises for another specified period of time.  An option to renew must be exercised in accordance with the option clauses in the lease.

You can usually secure a renewal option in the contract during the negotiation stage.

Is Subletting or Assignment allowed?

Subletting or assignment is the process of the Tenant leasing part or all of the Leased Premises to another party, which is commonly known as the sublessee.

A Tenant will typically need consent from the Landlord to sublease the leased property – so make sure that you check with the Landlord before taking on the lease for the property or before subletting it out to anyone else.

Can I Change my Permitted Use?

A commercial lease often states what the permitted use is allowed on the premises.  This may restrict and limited certain uses at the premises which fall outside the uses specified in the lease.

For example, the permitted use of premises for a restaurant may not allow the use to change to an office.

What Happens When the Lease Comes to an End?

At the end of the lease term, the Tenant is often obligated to leave the premises in the condition required by the lease and vacate the premises.

What are the Common Disputes During a Lease?

Disputes arise from a number of situations but are commonly in relation to the assignment, subletting, relocation, demolition, quiet enjoyment, repair, maintenance, outgoings, defaults, and rent review.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Commercial leases are quite often complex and the consequences of entering into a commercial lease without proper advice and guidance can be both costly and stressful.

Commercial leasing lawyers are experienced and deal with commercial leases on a daily basis.

By using a commercial leasing lawyer, you will have peace of mind that the lease transaction will be managed by an experienced specialist.

What Areas of Expertise can our Commercial Leasing Lawyers provide?

Our property lawyers specialise in the following areas of commercial leasing:

  • Leases and advice
  • Lease negotiations
  • Lease disputes
  • Acting for Tenants / Lessee
  • Acting for Landlords / Owners / Lessors