Protecting the interests of landlords and tenants with sound commercial and retail leasing adviceHillhouse Burrough McKeown acts for both landlords and tenants in a wide range of commercial leasing activities. From offices, warehouses and workshops through to specialised industry-specific commercial premises, we have broad experience acting for tenant and landlords in all areas of the leasing life-cycle.
We act for parties from agreements to lease, drafting and execution of leases through to performance, dispute, breach, termination and make good issues.
Hillhouse Burrough McKeown also acts in retail leasing and have particular experience dealing with retail shop leasing legislation around Australia. We have acted for all types of parties to retail shops, from lessee's of one shop, through to major tenants and shopping centres.
We are acutely aware of the needs of each type of client and can cater our services to ensure that your leasing is dealt with in a cost-effective manner while protecting your legal rights and commercial position as well as possible.
How Commercial and Retail Leasing Works in AustraliaMany businesses enter into commercial leasing arrangements without properly considering the actual terms of the lease that they are signing.
Many tenants proceed on the assumption that all leases are “standard” and will assume that their interests are adequately protected.
On the other hand landlords will sometimes find a lease online and assume that it will cover issues particular to their property.
The usual result of this is that a party will often find themselves in a very unfavourable situation. Tenants face issues such as unfair rent review or option provisions or unduly onerous make good requirements. Landlords can find themselves unable to pass on particular outgoings or may not be able to adequately deal with goods left behind by a tenant after expiry of the lease.
It is important for parties to recognise that a commercial lease is commonly represents a major investment of time and money for both parties so the documentation is not something which should be taken lightly.
With regard to Retail Leasing, the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld) introduces mandatory minimum standards for retail shop leases in Queensland.
A retail shop lease can be a major financial investment. It is common for landlords of retail shops to require personal guarantees for retail shop lease obligations, so a bad retail shop lease can often leave a tenant facing personal bankruptcy.
Under the landlord and tenant disclosure obligations under the Retail Shop Leases Act, a tenant must provide the landlord with an independent legal advice certificate.
Going beyond that requirement, there are a number of reasons why a prospective tenant of a retail shop should take legal advice. The Retail Shop Leases Act includes many protections for tenants, but if you are not properly advised you may miss out on some or all of the benefits of the act.
Some of the issues that we encounter when reviewing leases for our client are as follows:
• tenant not realising that the property they are leasing is covered by the Retail Shop Leases Act;
• lease not meeting the minimum standards of the Retail Shop Leases Act;
• landlord’s incorrectly charging fees or outgoings that are not recoverable;
• inappropriate rent review mechanisms; and
• tenants potentially missing an opportunity to terminate an unfavourable lease in the first 6 months for non-disclosure.
Landlords also need to take particular care when dealing with retail shop leases. If their leases are incorrectly drafted, they may find themselves with unfavourable outcomes on issues such as rent reviews, outgoings and costs or in extreme circumstances, may lose a tenant that would otherwise be contractually bound.
Hillhouse Burrough McKeown has extensive experience in retail shop leasing acting for both landlords and tenants and can advise you to ensure that you are in the best possible position you can be having regard to the provisions of the Retail Shop Leases Act.
Talk to one of our Commercial and Retail Leasing experts:
- Craig Hong, Partner, Brisbane. Phone: (07) 3228 6120
- Michael Morris, Lawyer, Brisbane. Phone: (07) 3228 6122
- Geoff Neilsen, Special Counsel, Brisbane. Phone: (07) 3228 6135
- David Adolphe, Special Counsel, Brisbane. Phone: (07) 3228 6124