Reading time: 5 minutes

Many retail leases include a relocation clause. Such a clause allows a landlord to relocate a tenant to comparable alternative premises to carry out repairs, refurbishment, redevelopment or extension. If the landlord wants to exercise these relocation rights, they must abide by the lease and retail leasing legislation. If your landlord is looking to relocate your business, you have a right to:

  • receive notice, including details of the proposed works and alternative premises;
  • terminate the lease early; and
  • costs and compensation.

This article explains these requirements and rights.

Relocation Notice

The landlord must provide you with a written relocation notice within the timeframe set out by the retail leasing legislation. The usual time frame for providing this notice is at least three months before the relocation date (for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria) but can be extended to at least six months in other states (Tasmania and Western Australia).

Like any other notice which the landlord provides to you, the delivery of the relocation notice must comply with the notice clauses in the lease. This may mean that the landlord has to deliver the notice in person, by post or by email.

Genuine Proposal

The relocation notice must provide the tenant with a “genuine proposal” which contains enough detail about the proposed repairs, refurbishment, redevelopment or extension to show that the works will be carried out within a reasonably practicable time after the landlord relocates you. To show that their proposal is genuine, the landlord may choose to include a copy of:

  • construction quotes;
  • the contract with their construction company;
  • plans and specifications (noting this must be provided in the ACT only);
  • building permits; and
  • marketing materials.

Alternative Premises

The relocation notice must also describe the alternative premises so that the tenant can decide if these premises are “reasonably comparable” to their existing premises. The type of detail that a tenant can expect in their relocation notice includes:

  • size and layout (preferably with plans);
  • existing fittings and fixtures;
  • location within the shopping centre;
  • rent (noting the rent may be adjusted to take into account the difference in the commercial value of the alternative premises at the time of relocation);
  • outgoings (noting this may be more or less than the amount payable for the existing premises if the alternative premises are a different size); and
  • any information which may be relevant to the type of business that the tenant runs.

If alternative premises have already been built, you should also arrange to inspect the premises to determine their suitability in terms of:

  • general appearance;
  • neighbouring businesses; and
  • level of foot traffic.


If you reject the alternative premises, you may terminate your existing lease within one month of receiving the relocation notice. The existing lease will then come to an end after three months of the landlord providing the relocation notice (unless otherwise agreed by the parties).

New Lease

If you accept the alternative premises or do not provide notice to terminate your existing lease in time, the landlord must offer you a new lease on the same (or no less favourable) terms and conditions as the existing lease.

The term of the new lease should also be the length of time remaining on the existing lease. For example, if you had to relocate in the first year of a five year lease, the term of the new lease should be at least four more years.

Before you sign the new lease, it is important to get a leasing lawyer to review it to ensure its terms have not changed substantially from the existing lease. The existing lease will also need to be formally terminated to make sure that you are no longer liable for the former premises.


Additionally, the landlord has to pay your reasonable costs of relocating to the alternative premises. In some states and territories, the retail leasing legislation gives examples of these relocation costs, which include:

  • dismantling and reinstalling fixtures, fittings, equipment or services;
  • packaging and removal costs; and
  • legal costs and expenses associated with the relocation.

However, if the landlord and you disagree on which costs the landlord must pay, you can have an independent quality surveyor determine the amount (in NSW and Victoria only). Otherwise, you can use the dispute resolution procedure set out in the retail leasing legislation.


The landlord may also have to pay compensation to the tenant because:

  • you have incurred loss or damage because of the relocation (ACT and Queensland only);
  • your profit has been reduced in the period between closing the existing premises and opening the alternative premises (Tasmania only); or
  • the landlord does not offer you an alternative lease (Western Australia only).

Key Takeaways

It is common for retail leases to include a relocation clause (unless you have negotiated otherwise). Accordingly, it is important for you, as a retail tenant, to understand your rights under the retail leasing legislation in your state or territory.

Unfortunately, these legal protections may not be enough to cover your financial losses if a landlord forces you to relocate your business within the shopping centre or sign a new lease elsewhere. For this reason, you should have a lawyer review and negotiate your retail lease before you sign. If you need your lease reviewed or have received a relocation notice, get in touch with LegalVision’s leasing lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


New Kid on the Blockchain: Understanding the Proposed Laws for Crypto, NFT and Blockchain Projects

Wednesday 25 May | 10:00 - 10:45am

If you operate in the crypto space, ensure you understand the Federal Government’s proposed licensing and regulation changes. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

How to Expand Your Business Into a Franchise

Thursday 26 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Drive rapid growth in your business by turning it into a franchise. To learn how, join our free webinar. Register today.
Register Now

Day in Court: What Happens When Your Business Goes to Court

Thursday 2 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

If your business is going to court, then you need to understand the process. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Manage a Construction Dispute

Thursday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Protect your construction firm from disputes. To understand how, join our free webinar.
Register Now

Startup Financing: Venture Debt 101

Thursday 23 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how venture debt can help take your startup to the next level. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer