Business Leases

Most businesses are operated from leased premises.  Whether you are a landlord or a tenant Lopich Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you with all of the issues that you are likely to be faced with when dealing with a lease of commercial property.

As a tenant, it is very important for you to be familiar with the terms of your lease.  For example, the goodwill of your business may be reduced significantly if you want to sell your business and your lease has expired.

So what is a lease?  A lease is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant that grants certain rights to the tenant to occupy and use the premises owned by the landlord.  It also sets out the rights and obligations of the landlord.

Lopich Lawyers will help you with all aspects of leasing commercial property including:

  • negotiating the terms of the lease;
  • ensuring that the formal requirements of entering into and registering the lease are complied with;
  • exercising an option to renew your lease;
  • transferring or assigning your lease;
  • advising you in relation to disputes concerning your leases;
  • matters relating to granting a licence or a sublease of your premises; and more….

If you are about to enter into a lease in conjunction with the purchasing a business you will find some helpful information under our “Buying or Selling a Business” tab and our “Franchises” tab.

Types of Business Leases

Leases for businesses generally fall into one of two categories: Retail Leases which are subject to the Retail Lease Act, 1994 and other Commercial Leases.

Retail Leases

The Retail Leases Act, 1994 (the Act), as the name suggests, relate to leases over retail premises (which are defined in the Act).  This includes retail shops in shopping centres as well as in shopping strips.

To find out whether a specific lease is a retail lease or not, it is necessary to refer to the Act.  Some significant rights and obligations for both landlords and tenants apply if the premises being leased are subject to the Retail Leases Act.

These include obligations of disclosure for both the landlord and the tenant.  A number of other rights and responsibilities are also imposed on the parties by the operation of the Act.

This can be a complicated and technical area of the law for landlords and tenants and care needs to be taken whether you are granting a lease or entering into a lease of premises that are subject to the provisions of the Retail Lease Act, 1994.

Talk to our commercial lawyers before you enter into a lease.

Business or Commercial Leases

Leases that are not covered by the Retail Leases Act, 1994 are generally referred to as Business or Commercial Leases.

Broadly, this relates to leases of premises which fall outside the definition of “Retail Shop” in the Act and includes office space and other commercial property with a gross floor area greater than 1,000 square metres.

The strict disclosure regime which operates under the Act does not apply to these premises and certain of the protections that the Act provides to landlords and tenants do not apply.  This means that whether you are the landlord or the tenant, it is imperative that the terms of the lease are properly drafted and that you understand the nature of your rights and obligations.

Our commercial lawyers have the knowledge and experience to draft effective commercial leases and to advise you, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, of your rights and responsibilities under a lease.

 

Landlords/ Lessors

A commercial or retail lease is usually a lengthy and complex document which deals with a wide range situations which could occur during the term of the lease.

Various pieces of state legislation will apply to the lease whether or not it is subject to the Retail Leases Act and if the lease is not carefully drafted your position as landlord (lessor) may be compromised, as it is generally the case that such legislation protects tenants more than landlords.

Make sure that the advice that you get protects your interests in relation to such important issues as:

  • collecting unpaid rent and or other moneys owed under the lease;
  • restoring the premises to an appropriate condition at the end of the lease;
  • the circumstances that will give you the right to re-enter the your premises; and
  • claims for future losses;
  • director’s guarantees or personal guarantees;
  • the assignment or transfer of the lease;
  • rent reviews, interest rates on unpaid moneys, rental bonds, insurance and more …

 

Tenants/Lessees

The success or failure of your business may depend on ensuring that your rights as a tenant (lessee) are protected by your lease.  Unduly harsh terms or conditions in your lease may make the continued operation of your business difficult and the sale of the business almost impossible.

Our commercial lawyers understand that the lease of the premises will directly affect the value of your business.  It is important therefore that you obtain the best professional assistance when it comes to issues concerning the lease of your premises.

Clearly, it is vital that you understand the terms and conditions of the lease so that you can make important decisions concerning your business on an informed basis.  Remember, your lease is a legally binding contract and you need to know what it says.

Lopich Lawyers will assist you by explaining all of the important features of the lease such as:

  • what your duties and liabilities as a tenant are;
  • what the outgoings and levies (if any) are;
  • what your share of the outgoings and levies are;
  • what money you are liable to pay including the outgoings and levies;
  • what you need to do if you want to assign or transfer the lease;
  • when you will be liable for damages to the property;
  • what type of damage the landlord is liable to repair and much more …

We will also help you to understand and to meet the procedural requirements of entering into the lease.

 

Commercial Sub-Leases

A sublease is where a tenant leases some or all of the leased premises to a third party, who is called the sub-tenant.

Premises that are retail shop leases as well as business or commercial leases can be sublet.

The requirements for granting a sub-leases of premises under the Retail Lease Act, 1994 are dealt with in the Act and are generally set out in the lease itself.  Business and commercial leases will also generally have a section dealing with subletting and assignment.

Avoid confusion and delays by letting us help you through this technical and complex area.

 

Negotiating Lease Terms

Negotiating the best terms possible for your lease has significant implications for you and your business.

Not only will we advise you in relation to the proposed terms of your new commercial lease, but we will point out aspects of the lease which may be improved upon by negotiation with the other party.

This may include terms such as options to extend the length of the lease, mechanisms for rent review, revised trading hours or after hours access to the premises.

There are many aspects of your lease which you might easily overlook in the lead-up to signing the lease and which will not be easily changed once the lease has been signed.  Make sure that you get the benefit of the best terms and conditions that can be negotiated by talking to Lopich Lawyers about your lease.

 

Why Lopich Lawyers?

Clear Communication – not only will we keep you informed of the progress of your matter at every step of the way but because our lawyers are skilled negotiators, we will use those skills to negotiate the best terms and conditions that can be reached with the other party.  What’s more, we are always just a phone call away if you need to speak to a lawyer.

Experience – Lopich Lawyers has acted for hundreds of landlords and tenants in relation to leases and licences for everything from ski centres to airfields and shopping centres to grazing properties.  We know what needs to be done whether the premises are under Torrens Title, Old System Title or Strata Title.  When it comes to business and retail leases Lopich Lawyers will look after you.

Efficient – We get things done!  Whether you are entering into a new lease as a tenant or

issuing a new lease as a landlord time is often important.  We will deal with your matter as expeditiously and efficiently as possible without compromising the quality of our legal advice or exposing you to risk.

Costs – In many cases we will negotiate a fixed flat fee for our services.  Alternatively, in more complex matters our reasonable hourly rate will avoid unpleasant surprises.

Whether you are the landlord or tenant with a commercial lease we will help you.  All you need to do is call us on 1300 783 634 OR email info@lopichlawyers.com.au