Commercial and Retail Leasing
Drafting and Negotiation
The WMD Property Group has considerable experience in all areas of commercial and retail leasing. The lawyers of the WMD Property Group have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can advise you upon the lease of offices, factories, industrial sites or retail shops whether you are a landlord or a tenant.
The WMD Property Group has extensive experience in acting for the owners of commercial and retail premises. Our lawyers have advised the owners of retail shopping centres and one of Australia’s largest Universities in relation to the leasing of their premises and have drafted the master lease agreements for the premises.
The WMD Property Group also acts for tenants in the negotiation and implementation of retail and commercial leases. Our lawyers advise a wide range of commercial clients including a number of national companies on their leasing portfolios across New South Wales and Australia.
Depending on your requirements as a landlord or tenant the WMD Property Group can assist you by drafting or reviewing the lease, negotiating the terms of the lease and obtaining the signatures of all parties, including the mortgagee’s consent where necessary before attending to registration of the lease if required.
Assignment of Leases
An assignment of lease involves an agreement between the current tenant and a new tenant to transfer the rights and obligations of the current tenant under the lease to the new tenant. An assignment of lease often occurs in conjunction with the sale of a business, however, a situation may arise where the tenant cannot continue leasing the premises (for business or personal reasons) and a new tenant has been found that agrees to take over the lease on the same terms and conditions.
The lease will often prohibit a tenant from assigning their rights and obligations under the lease to another party without the landlord’s permission. The WMD Property Group can advise landlords and current or new tenants on their rights and obligations in relation to an assignment of lease.
Since 1994, certain retail leases, including retail shopping centre leases, have been governed by the Retail Leases Act.
The Act applies to two basic categories of retail shop:
- those shops used wholly or predominately for use as a type of business listed in the Act; and
- those retail shops used to carry on a business in a ‘retail shopping centre’.
A retail shopping centre means a cluster of premises that has all of the following attributes:
- at least 5 of the premises are used wholly or predominantly for the carrying on of one or more listed businesses;
- the premises are all owned by the same person, or have (or would if leased have) the same landlord or the same head landlord, or comprise lots within a single strata plan;
- the premises are located in the one building or in 2 or more buildings that are either adjoining or separated only by common areas or other areas owned by the owner of the retail shops; and
- the cluster of premises is promoted as, or generally regarded as constituting, a shopping centre, shopping mall, shopping court or shopping arcade.
The WMD Property Group has significant experience advising both the landlords and tenants of retail shops. Our lawyers have drafted numerous master lease agreements for landlords of retail shopping centres as well as reviewed and advised on leases for all types of premises covered under the Act.
The WMD Property Group can advise landlords or tenants in relation to lease disputes and where necessary can follow up any ongoing disputes through litigation or alternate means of dispute resolution. Our lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with rent demands and rent review determinations as well as disputes involving the performance of repair and maintenance obligations under the lease and lease terminations and lockouts.
Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The WMD Property Group can advise landlords or tenants in relation to ongoing lease disputes requiring litigation or alternate means of dispute resolution. By utilising the knowledge and expertise of the WMD Property Group and the Commercial Litigation Division, our team of lawyers are able to provide a practical and commercial focus in resolving disputes and where appropriate, also advise on alternative methods of resolution including negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, appointment of referees and expert determination. Our team of lawyers has extensive experience in negotiating resolutions to complex commercial disputes and in conducting commercial litigation in the Local, District and Supreme Courts of New South Wales and the Federal Courts.