Leases – Commercial & Retail

Leases – Commercial & Retail



Leases – Commercial and Retail Shop Leasing

Aitken Whyte Lawyers act for a wide range of landlords and tenants of commercial premises and retail shops around Brisbane and Queensland.

Commercial Leasing and Commercial Lease Agreements

It is important that intending landlords or tenants contact their lawyer in relation to commercial leases before they enter any agreement relating to commercial premises and including, signing any commercial lease agreement with an agent. Such agreements that can be called different names such as ‘Agreements to Lease’, ‘Lease Proposals’, ‘Offers to Lease’ or other names can in fact be binding lease agreements that mean that you can be forced to enter a lease based on those terms even though you have not signed a lease. As such, it is necessary at this early stage that you are happy with the basic terms included in that document, and just as importantly, consider whether there are others that should be agreed at that early stage.

Once the lease document is produced following the initial proposals, it is quite often too late to try and negotiate then. You could be held to an agreement as such which may be uncommercial or a deal that is not in your interests, either as lessor or lessee. Due to the long periods of time that you can be bound by a lease and the financial consequences arising from this, it is essential to you and your business to get it right from the start and understand what you are signing and that you are entering an agreement that is right for your business.

We will help you as necessary with negotiating the agreement to lease or commercial lease agreement – the lease itself, making relevant searches on title and ensure you are able to conduct the business, as lessee, from those premises depending on council planning requirements.

Some of the top things to consider when negotiating a commercial lease agreement

You need to consider the following:

  1. The term of the lease including any options to renew and rent reviews;
  2. Security to be provided such as personal guarantees required;
  3. Rights of assignment and terms of any assignment;
  4. Insurance;
  5. Outgoings and whether the lease is a gross lease or net lease.

What is a Retail Shop Lease?

Under the Retail Shop Leases Act, a retail shop means premises that are—

  1. situated in a retail shopping centre; or
  2. used wholly or predominantly for the carrying on of 1 or more retail businesses.

A retail business is one that is prescribed by legislation as a retail business. There is an extensive list of such businesses set out in the relevant legislation.

There is specific legislation that dictates a lot of matters that relate to retail shop leases in Queensland. We can assist you whether as landlord or tenant in making sure you meet your legislative responsibilities. As a landlord, we will assist you in the preparation of the lease, the lessor disclosure statement and requirements, extensions, variations and options, enforcement or rights, compliance with legislation and negotiating the lease terms.

For tenants we can advise you in relation to the disclosure statement by the lessor, the draft lease given with those documents, prepare the Lessee disclosure statement, provide the certificate of independent legal advice report, negotiate the commercial lease agreement terms and assist with ensuring you meet time frames and requirements for exercising options and assigning leases. We can also advise you on your rights if matters go pear shaped and defend proceedings against you or prosecute if your rights have been breached.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers also have significant experience in commercial lease disputes and retail shop lease disputes including acting for lessors and lessees in courts for commercial disputes and in tribunals for leases that fall under the ambit of the Retail Shop Leases Act.

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311