An Introduction to Commercial Property Leasing in Australia

Thinking of starting your first business? Depending on what you’re doing you may need a property to operate from. Unless you initially have a lot of assets there’s a good chance you’ll need to rent a commercial property instead of buying one. If you’re starting your own shop you may need a retail space in a shopping centre or shopping strip. 

If you’re thinking of starting an online store you may need to rent a warehouse to fit all your stock. Some business owners simply need a well-furnished office space. Whatever type of property you choose to rent, you should know that this is referred to as commercial property leasing. 

Commercial property leasing is the process of renting a commercial property for a specific business purpose. There are a few major differences between renting a residential property and commercial property. One of the biggest differences is the duration. A lease term for a commercial property is typically around five years. 

Other unique features of a commercial property include the costs that need to be covered. There may be outgoings and building operational costs to consider. There’s also cleaning. The building you’re renting a space in may end up charging you additional cleaning fees. 

It’s important to understand what all the conditions of a Commercial Property Lease are before you enter into one. Many legal issues have started from simple misunderstandings between commercial property owners and business operators. It’s just one of the reasons why many lawyers have become experts in Commercial Property Law. 

If you have any legal issues regarding a commercial property lease then you will have to seek advice from a Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer. This type of Lawyer can also help review your commercial lease before you sign it. Hiring a Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer is a great way to avoid any legal issue to begin with before you start operating your business.

Total occupancy costs

If you’re thinking of entering into a commercial property lease, one of the first things you need to do is consider the cost. Aside from the monthly rent, you’ll be paying there are other costs. There may be costs of owning the property that the landlord will pass on to you. These costs may include land tax, council rates, and water connection rates. 

Additional costs are usually referred to as operational costs. Before you sign a commercial lease it’s important to find out what these are. They can have a significant impact on your business’s monthly revenue and profitability. 

Talk to your Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer to help review your commercial lease and find out if there are any hidden costs that you may not be aware of. 

Fitouts

Depending on the type of business you run, you may need to apply extra fitouts to the commercial property you’re leasing. A typical fitout for a retail space may include additional lighting, signage, plumbing, and furniture to accommodate your business operations. 

Your Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer should remind you to watch out for a make-good clause in the lease. This is a standard clause that outlines your responsibility to return the premises back to its original condition after you’re done with the lease. So any fixtures, signage, or furniture you installed will have to be removed by the time your commercial lease is up.

Your options

Before signing a commercial lease it’s best to get your Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer to review what your lease options are. You may have signed a five year lease agreement. But do you have the option to extend your lease? An extension option may not be present in your lease. So basically when your lease is over you will no longer be able to rent out the commercial property!

If you already have an established business and track record you should have more leverage for getting an extension option added to your lease. If you are a new business you may find it harder to negotiate an extension option. 
If you are covered by the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985 (CT Act), you have the right to a minimum tenancy period of up to five years. Talk to your Commercial Lease Dispute Lawyer to see if you are eligible.

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