Commercial and Retail Shop Leases

Why engage Sheehan & Co to advise you in relation to a Lease?

Whether you are a Landlord or a Tenant, it is important you obtain independent and professional legal advice that your Lease documents accurately reflect the terms of agreement in relation to the letting of the premises. The best time to receive this advice is before you finalise any negotiations regarding a commercial lease.

Checklist of questions you should consider when leasing business premises

We ask the following questions at the outset so that all issues that relate to your Lease are properly addressed in the Lease document:

  • Is security required to be given by the Tenant to the Landlord for the performance of the Tenant's obligations under the Lease? We will advise you as to the pros and cons of the various forms of security - for example, director's guarantees, bank guarantee or cash bond.

  • If you are a Landlord, have you conducted full and proper due diligence enquiries in relation to the Tenant, including whether the Tenant has previous business experience (if so, what kind of experience?) and whether the Tenant is financially sound and stable (have you sighted a certified statement of present position detailing the Tenant's present assets and liabilities)?  

  • If part of the land/premises only is being leased, is Council reconfiguration approval required? Are the premises correctly identified on any attached sketch plan? Has the sketch plan been prepared by a registered surveyor?

  • What is the permitted use of the premises? Is that use exclusive? Has the Tenant sighted a Certificate of Classification issued by Council for the appropriate class of building to allow for lawful occupation of the premises? Is the Tenant's proposed use correctly specified - for example, not too narrow or wide? Is the Tenant's proposed use lawful?

  • Do you require the Lease to be registered in the Titles Office Registry? (particularly important if you are a Tenant wishing to secure any option to renew periods)

  • Who pays the outgoings of the premises? What is the method of calculating outgoings?

  • What types of insurance are you required to obtain and keep in full effect under the Lease? For example, who pays the building insurance? Who pays the public risk liability insurance? What levels of insurance are required in respect of what risks?

  • What is the lease term? Do you require any options to renew? What conditions must be satisfied in relation to an effective exercise of option, in particular, when is an option to be exercised and in what manner?

  • What is the rent payable by the Tenant? What are the rent review methods (for example, adjusted by applying standard Consumer Price Index formula, fixed increase, review to market?). When are the rent reviews to occur? What specific provisions apply to the market review (for example, is a registered valuer to conduct the market review?).

  • Is GST payable on the supply of the leased premises under the Lease? (that is, is rent plus GST or exclusive of GST?)

  • Is the Tenant permitted to assign or sublet the premises? If so, what criteria must be satisfied prior to the Landlord granting its consent to the proposed assignment or subletting?

  • Has the Tenant searched the Contaminated Land Register - is notice required to be given by the Landlord to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in relation to a possible or probable site of contamination? 

  • Has the Tenant searched the Urban Encroachment Area Register? Are there any encroachments applicable to the premises? Is notice required to be given to the Register?

  • Is an energy efficiency certificate required under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth)?  

  • Should a security interest be registered in the Personal Property Securities Register to protect the Tenant's interest in certain chattels in the premises? Does the proposed terms of the Lease create a security interest capable of being protected?

Retail Shop Leases

In addition to the above checklist, the following questions need to be addressed in relation to retail shop leases:

  • Is the Lease a retail shop lease under the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 (Qld)?

  • Have the relevant Disclosure Statements been provided by the Landlord and the Tenant?

  • Has a Legal Advice Report and Financial Advice Report been provided by the Tenant's solicitor and accountant respectively?

  • Are there any restrictions on trading hours?

The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list as the issues which will be relevant in relation to each Lease will vary.

Paul Sheehan and his team provides practical, plain language, tailored advice designed to ensure you are aware of your rights and obligations in all your leasing transactions. We have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the leasing process from initial negotiations through to drafting a written lease and the final execution and registration of the Lease in the Titles Office Registry. 

Our services in this area are tailored to achieve better outcomes for you

  • Drafting lease agreements based on your specific circumstances including drafting special conditions to protect your interests;

  • Reviewing leases to ensure the commercial elements reflect the original agreement reached between the Landlord and the Tenant, whether verbally or under a Heads of Agreement;

  • Advising clients in relation to the legislative requirements of leases;

  • Undertaking due diligence enquiries/searches to ensure that relevant issues are properly addressed to your satisfaction prior to execution of any proposed lease;

  • Providing advice on breach of lease notices and resolving disputes surrounding commercial leases;

  • Recovering unpaid rent, interest and additional costs associated with breaches of lease. Where necessary, we will commence Court action for recovery on your behalf.

Make an appointment 

Our office is centrally located within the Surat Basin and we are pleased to meet with clients in person, via telephone or home visit to discuss your legal needs in this area.



 Remember - it pays to get the right advice!