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Retail and Commercial Leasing

We're experts in negotiating and/or advising landlords and tenants in retail and commercial leasing matters.

Thousands of Australian businesses enter into retail and commercial leases every day. Leases are legally binding contracts that give tenants a right to exclusive possession of land in return for rent and other promises given to landlords. Entering into a lease is a big commitment, and it should not be taken lightly.

  • Why do leases matter?

    Commercial and retail leases are more complicated than residential leases because they are customised to each situation. Mistakes could make or break your business.

    As a landlord, badly drawn leases may leave you in hot water if you need to repossess your premises or claim future losses after you have retaken possession. Most leases are drafted in favour of landlords – and most tenants sign them without second thought. So as a tenant, you must consider your own interests and seek to protect them.

    Well-drafted leases benefit both parties and make things easier down the track if disputes arise. A good retail or commercial lease should protect the rights of both parties and allow for fair procedures if things go wrong. Landlords and tenants alike should seek legal advice on any proposed lease: this will help protect your legal and commercial interests, and ensure that your individual circumstances are taken into account.

  • Can I negotiate the terms of my lease?

    Yes, some lease terms negotiable. For example, you may be able to negotiate the rent amount, rent increases, lease term, exit and renewal options, and whether you can transfer or assign the lease.

    We can help both landlords and tenants with the lease negotiation process, guiding you on fair market value and fair terms.

    In complex leasing matters, it is important to negotiate a lease that is tailored to your specific requirements, and also contains terms reflecting the needs of your industry, your circumstances, and the use for which the property is being leased.

  • Disputes or breaches: what do I do?

    Whether you are a landlord or tenant, disputes often arise during the average lease. These disputes can be costly, stressful and time-consuming. When this happens, both parties need to understand the legal terms and conditions of the lease, as well as their legal rights, responsibilities and options. As a landlord or tenant, you must seek legal advice to ensure you understand your rights and know what to do next.

    We are experienced in dealing with lease disputes and our aim is always to find solutions that are acceptable to both parties, as quickly as possible. In our experience, lease disputes between parties can accelerate, so lawyers often help to diffuse disagreements and find better outcomes, faster. If agreement cannot be reached, our retail and commercial lease lawyers are well-equipped to enforce your rights at hearing if required.

    Breaches of lease are also a commercial reality. As a landlord, you need to know how to enforce your rights under a lease and follow proper procedure. We can walk you through the process and help you find the best outcome. As a tenant, we can help you protect your position and negotiate the best result. Breach of lease laws can vary from state to state: it is therefore essential to consult a retail and commercial lease lawyer who is familiar with your jurisdiction.

Why choose Slater and Gordon?

We are experienced in advising both landlords and tenants in all stages of the retail and commercial leasing process. Our knowledge covers Victorian and interstate leasing law, and we are across commercial leasing issues that affect both retail and non-retail leases.

As experienced negotiators, we can also help you achieve a lease agreement that suits your long-term needs and our aim is always to help you understand your rights and obligations at every stage. Additionally, we are well-equipped to manage any problems and we have the resources to act for you in disputes.

Our expertise includes:

  • Advising on new leases (landlord and/or tenant)
  • Reviewing and drafting and leases
  • Disclosure statements
  • Lease negotiations and disputes
  • Option renewals, assignment of lease and subleases
  • Breache of lease
  • Variation of lease and surrender of lease
  • Rent determination
  • Commercial and financial aspects of retail and commercial leasing

Our clients have included developers, funds, banks, investors and international retailers, and we have acted for clients in a range of industries including those operating from retail shops (both small and large-scale leasing, including shopping centres), factories, offices and warehouses.

Please seek legal advice before making any commitments under a lease. This is particularly important because entering into a lease can have a negative impact on your business’ cash flow down the track.

By working with us, we promise to:

  • Negotiate your best outcome
  • Ensure a well-drafted lease that protects your position
  • Minimise stress
  • Handle disputes and breaches if and when they arise
  • Ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities under the lease
  • Guide you through the process and keep you informed of your options at every step

Make an enquiry

If you have a question, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and we’ll be in touch with you very soon.

Enquire now