Welcome to Part 2 of “What to do before signing a Commercial or Retail Lease“. You can find Part 1 here.

Legal Advice about Terms

It’s important to understand that upon signing the lease, both parties will be bound by its terms and conditions.

Consequently, you need to make sure the lease covers what was discussed and that compliance with the terms will not be an issue once you sign or take possession of the premises.

You should check what the lease terms say about outgoings and any repairs and maintenance requirements, such as for the fixtures or fittings of the property and the requirement for making good at the end of the lease.

Before signing a commercial lease, consider how each term will affect the business you’re running. For example, if there is a demolition or relocation clause, this means that you are signing the lease with some expectation that the landlord will end the lease before its expiry date and may wish to reconsider the premises.

Is an option term preferable?

Before you sign the lease, you and your accountant should try to punch in the numbers to work out how achievable profitability will be in the first term of the lease. This is important to know, as the landlord may choose not to renew the term, and you may not yet have made profit. With no lease, selling the business will be near impossible. Any opportunity to pay off remaining debt might be lost if the landlord does not renew the term.

Instead of signing for one term, you might want to have your leasing lawyer negotiate an option (or a number of options) to renew, as part of the terms in your commercial lease. This goes towards protecting your lease tenure and also your investment in the Premises by making the business more saleable.

Once the initial lease term ends, your landlord may offer you another term at much higher rent. If you operate in a shopping centre, additional fit-outs might also be required.


There are countless measures you can take to protect yourself before signing a commercial or retail lease. Speak to a professional leasing specialist about how they can assist you in the process leading up to the singing of the lease, as well during the lease itself.

If you want to speak with a commercial leasing lawyer about a lease you’re about to enter, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755.

Emma Heuston
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