Commercial Leasing Lawyer on the Gold Coast
When it comes to finding the perfect commercial space for your business, securing the best location at an affordable price is likely your top priority.
If you’re lucky enough to find it, you may be tempted to sign the lease straight away. Don’t.
Like any business decision, this is one that warrants careful consideration. Here’s what you need to know before you make a legally binding commitment.
The pros and cons of different leases
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of commercial leases. The one that’s best for you will depend on several factors, including what kind of business you have, its size and your immediate and future plans and needs.
If you’re just starting out, a short-term or month-to-month lease may seem appealing because of its flexibility. With this sort of arrangement, you are less likely to encounter legal and financial difficulties associated with “breaking a lease,” when you want to end your tenancy because you haven’t made a lengthy commitment. As the tenant, however, greater flexibility comes with an inherent risk. This is because your landlord can also ask you to leave on short notice, so you could end up scrambling to find a new space.
For an established business in a prime location, a long-term lease provides permanence, but that also comes at a price. In this scenario, ending your tenancy on your terms before the lease expires is not only difficult, but it can have serious legal and financial ramifications. To avoid costly and unpleasant consequences, it is always best to consult a qualified lawyer before signing this type of lease.
Another important consideration unique to retail businesses is whether to lease space in a retail shopping centre. Because a shopping centre is essentially a cluster of at least five shops, one apparent benefit would be the potential for more exposure and business growth. Conversely, the rent may be higher and there are additional rules pertaining to this type of premises.
Once you decide which type of lease is best for your business, it’s important to make sure you understand all of the provisions in the agreement before you sign anything. This is especially crucial in Queensland, where landlords’ lawyers are responsible for crafting commercial and retail shop leases, meaning each one is different.
Our commercial leasing lawyers will review the lease before you sign it to ensure that you are fully informed about all of the stipulations pertaining to:
- Payment of legal costs associated with implementation of the lease
- Duration of the lease
- The lease amount and requirements for payment
- Rent increases
- Late payments
- Methods for resolution of disputes
- The option to buy, if any
- Lease renewal, if applicable
- Early termination of lease, if applicable
- Subletting, if applicable
- Lease transfer and cost, if applicable
- Insurance coverage
- Responsibility for maintenance and associated costs
- Responsibility for any renovations, additions, alterations, improvements to the space
- “Ownership” of any furniture or fixtures supplied by you during your tenancy
- Condition of premises upon termination of tenancy