Retail / Commercial Leasing

Frequently Asked Questions

As Property lawyers, we are able to advise Landlords and Tenants in relation to Commercial and/or Retail Leases.  We will ensure that the lease you enter into complies with the law, advise of your obligations under legislation, advise of your obligations under any proposed lease or existing lease, act on your behalf in the event of a dispute, and advise of your options in resolving disputes (if any).

We are able to draft leasing documents including Leases,Disclosure Statements, Renewal of Lease, Variations of Lease and Transfers ofLease. We can also assist with negotiating the terms of the Lease.

Tenants and landlord obligations are important to get right. Allow our office to assist you to comply with your obligations and maximise your entitlement

What is the difference between a retail lease and a commercial lease?

A retail lease is where the premises is used for the sale or hire of goods to the end user of those goods, or the provision of services. Any lease that does not fall into this definition is a commercial lease.

This distinction is very important as the Retail Leases Act only applies to retail leases. The Act sets out certain rights and obligations for the parties, including:

  • The landlord must provide the tenant with a disclosure statement before entering into the lease
  • The landlord cannot pass the cost of preparing the lease on to the tenant or make the tenant pay their land tax
  • The landlord must provide an annual estimate of outgoings, or the tenant does not have to pay the outgoings

The lease will state whether the Retail Leases Act applies. However, it is important to obtain legal advice regarding whether the lease is commercial or retail as in the event of a dispute, a court will not be bound by what the lease says if it is incorrect.

What documents should I expect to receive as a tenant?

When you are negotiating to enter into a new lease, there are a number of documents you should receive from the landlord. For a retail lease, these include:

  • Disclosure statement
  • Draft lease
  • Victorian Small Business Commission retail leases information brochure

For a commercial lease, you will likely only receive the lease.

If there is a mortgage over the property, you should also require the landlord to obtain the mortgagee’s consent to the lease. This is because if the landlord becomes bankrupt or goes into liquidation, the mortgagee may not be required to honour your lease if they take possession of the property if they have not given their consent to the lease.

Questions? Ask our Property Law team.

Teagan Howard
Deceased Estates
03 9870 9870