You should consider the following points before entering into a retail lease:

Lease Duration

Make sure you consider the term of the lease and if there are any options for renewal. Unless there is an option for renewal, there is no obligation on the landlord to renew the lease. This is something that can be negotiated prior to signing the lease.

Costs

Usually with retail leases, the landlord pays the legal costs for preparing the lease. However, besides rent, you will also be required to pay the outgoings for the premises, such as council rates.

Disclosure Statement

A disclosure statement outlines the essential elements of the lease including the rent and outgoings. The landlord must give you a disclosure statement at least 14 days before you sign a new lease.

Permitted Use

The disclosure statement will also set out the landlord’s permitted use for the premises. If your business is not suitable for the premises a development approval may be needed. You should speak to council to find out if this is required. If development approval is required, any lease you sign should be conditional upon the approval.

Incentives

To attract tenants, landlords often use lease incentives. Incentives could be in the form of a rent reduction, rent free period or a contribution to fit-out works. These incentives could include a payback provision, so make sure you look out for this.

Legal Support

Since retail leases involve a substantial amount of investment and directly affect your business, it is always recommended to seek legal advice before entering into a lease agreement. Our Commercial Law team can assist you through the process including drafting the required documents. For more information call our Commercial Law team on 03 9743 1333 or email .