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Commercial Leases

From drafting leases to resolving disputes our business lawyers are experts in commercial lease agreements.

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Why you need a business lawyer for leases

Financial Assets

Drafting leases

Leases are the contractual arrangements entered into between landlords and tenants (businesses) relating to the exchange of land or property for a periodic payment. We have decades of experience assisting with the process of assigning, amending, reviewing, renewing and terminating leases to take the stress out of the process for you.

Timely Legal Services

Helping resolve disputes

Often leasing matters may create disputes between parties that can be costly if not properly managed. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, we can assist you with a variety of dispute resolution matters, such as negotiating more favourable terms.

Dispute Resolution

Assisting you in understanding your rights

During the creation, changing or renewal of leases, you may not understand what your rights are. We can assess your individual situation and consider all of the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved with your lease so you are well informed up-front to avoid any potential financial penalties down the track.

Frequently asked questions

Leases are the contractual arrangements entered into between a landlord and a tenant for the rent of a premises or other structure. Commercial leases are leases for property that has a specific business purpose, such as offices, warehouses or industrial areas.
Leases are lengthy and there are many terms that should be closely considered before you enter into a lease. These issues are:

- Rental costs;
- Renewal terms;
- Who is responsible for additional services, insurance or rates;
- Facilities that are included in the lease;
- Early termination liabilities;
- Cost of repair to building; and
- Bond.
Given that commercial leases can span at least 30 pages in length, it is important to allow sufficient time to fully consider the lease’s contents and to obtain legal advice before you commit. You may also be able to negotiate the terms of a lease if you are not satisfied with the proposed terms.
If you have found the perfect location for your business, the next step it negotiating your lease to put you in the best possible position to move forward. To negotiate a lease, you can:

- Settle on your exact budget and decide what are must-haves and what are nice-to-haves;
- Find a lawyer who can negotiate for you;
- Negotiate on more than one location at a time;
- Don’t agree to pay the asked base rent, counter offer 10 to 15 per cent beneath the asking price;
- Check the property’s square footage to ensure it is up to date;
- Negotiate a longer lease term so you can get a better base rent;
- Ensure you receive a fair cure period, which is the time you are able to justify breaching your lease;
- Add a clause that will prevent the landlord from renting to a competitor;
- Negotiate the fixturisation period, which is the time you are allowed to fix up the store; and
- Ask for all available perks such as free parking or wi-fi.
Commercial leases tend to last longer than home rental leases, averaging at about three years. If your business does not have a proven track record, you may like to negotiate a short initial lease of one-year, followed by two-year options once your business starts to grow.
The four main commercial leases are:

- Single net lease or net lease: the tenant only pays for utilities and property tax whereas the landlord pays for maintenance, insurance and repairs;
- Net-net or double net leases: the tenant is only responsible for paying utilities, property taxes and insurance premiums for the building whereas the landlord is responsible for paying maintenance and repairs;
- Triple net leases: the tenant pays for all costs of the building and the landlord is responsible for structural repairs; and
- Full-service gross or modified gross lease: structural repairs and operating expenses are split between the tenant and the landlord.
In Queensland, there are two main categories of commercial leases. These are:

- Retail shop leases. Retail shop leases are leases of premises which are located in a shopping centre or used predominantly to carry out a specific retail business.
- Commercial leases other than retail shop leases. This is a broad category which could cover premises leased for distribution, manufacturing or the provision of services. These facilities are generally located outside of shopping centres.
Depending on the terms of a lease, a landlord may be able to recover financial damages or compensation if a lease is breached, such as outstanding rent, any future loss of rent, costs incurred due to the breach such as legal fees and any unpaid interest on outstanding rent.

Why choose us

We will tell you the truth at all times

We will be honest with you about your prospects of success, issues that arise or the commercial viability of your matter. The first time you come to see us, we will tell you whether you even need a lawyer.

We will respect you and your situation

Our job is not to judge anything you may have done. Our job is to guide your matter and actions moving forward to give you the best possible outcome for you, both legally and personally.

We will listen and understand your needs

We will hear not just what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. We will tell you what you need to do to achieve the outcome you are after, legally, practically and emotionally.

We will stand by you all the way

Your matter doesn’t finish once a court order has been made. We will stay on your matter right up until all of the outstanding issues have been dealt with and the court orders are complied with.

We can help you through all aspects of commercial leases

Forge Legal’s business lawyers are specialists in all areas of property law and can assist you with all property law matters.

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