Commercial & Retail Leases

Whether you are negotiating or finalising a Lease or Agreement for Lease, are in a dispute under an existing Lease or wish to terminate a Lease, our experienced Commercial Leasing Lawyers can help.

Having the right Lease in place can make a big difference to the value and tenure of your business or property investment.

We assist both Landlords and Tenants with leasing matters in a wide range of industries, including commercial offices, industrial and other commercial properties, shopping centres and retail shops.

A good Lease is a great investment

A Commercial or Retail Lease is an agreement that binds parties for usually 3-5 years and often includes personal guarantees.

Rent under a Lease is usually the biggest expenses of a business after wages. For a property owner, rent is the key source of investment revenue and they face significant loss if rent can not be recovered.

When disputes arise or rent goes unpaid, the situation needs to be addressed swiftly and resolved to reduce losses to Landlords and/or protect business value for Tenants.

As such, it is important that both Tenants and Landlords fully understand their rights and obligations under the Leases they enter into and that the terms of the Leases are appropriate for their individual circumstances.

Our Commercial & Retail Leasing Services

Our experienced Commercial Property Lawyers can assist with all aspects of commercial and retail leasing including:
  • Drafting and reviewing Commercial and Retail Leases

  • Negotiating and providing advice in relation to Lease terms and Agreements for Lease

  • Drafting and reviewing Retail Lease Disclosure Statements

  • Compliance with the Retail Leases Act

  • Assignments and Surrenders of Lease

  • Negotiating and exercising Options to Purchase leased premises

  • Resolving Lease disputes including disputes in relation to building maintenance and make good obligations

  • Termination of Leases

  • Recovery of unpaid rent


It is essential that your Tenant signs an effective and enforceable Lease before taking possession of your property.

Additionally, the Lease should include adequate securities or guarantees, limitation and exclusion of liability clauses, indemnities and dispute resolution provisions to protect your investment and make the Lease attractive to future purchasers of the property.

Whilst good Leases add property value, bad Tenants need to be dealt with swiftly, particularly if the Lease gives inadequate security. This will typically involve termination, taking possession and finding a new Tenant.


You should obtain legal advice before signing a Lease or taking possession of leased premises as some Leases contain particularly onerous provisions that could have a significant negative impact on your business at a later stage.

It is important that your Lease also includes appropriate options to renew and rent review provisions to maximise goodwill attached to the site for you and any future purchaser of your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Lease vs Retail Lease

A retail Lease is a Lease of business premises where the permitted use is for selling goods, whereas a commercial Lease usually relates to premises that are used as a warehouse, industrial sites or office space in a commercial building with no retail activity.

Sometimes the distinction can be blurred, so it is important to seek legal advice prior to entering into any Lease. The primary difference between a commercial and retail Lease is how they are treated legally. In particular, a retail Lease is governed by the Retail Leases Act 1994 in New South Wales which contains provisions regulating the terms of a retail Lease and disclosure requirements.

Why tenants should engage a lawyer for their new Lease?

Rent under a Lease can be one of the biggest expenses of a business.

The location of a business premises can also add value and be associated with the goodwill of a business.

It is therefore important to obtain legal advice as part of your due diligence process in entering into any new Lease. Your lawyer can advise you in relation to the reasonableness and appropriateness of the terms of the Lease you are negotiating including, proposed options to renew (or absence thereof), the reasonableness of any rent review provisions and make good obligations and the existence and nature of indemnity and exclusion clauses.

Seeking advice will also assist you to understand your rights and obligations under the Lease to avoid any dispute or unintentional breach.

How to resolve a commercial Lease dispute?

Wherever appropriate, our Commercial Lawyers recommend seeking a commercial resolution of a Lease dispute in the first instance, to ultimately avoid the costs and stress associated with a protracted dispute.

If initial negotiations are not successful in resolving the dispute, then there are alternative dispute resolution processes that the parties can or may be required to engage in, including mediation.

Sometimes a dispute is urgent and there is not time to attempt commercial resolution. In such a scenario it is important to have an experienced Commercial Lawyer providing you with advice and a well drafted Lease in place. For example, if a lessor needs to take immediate possession of the premises as a result of the lessee’s breach, a well drafted Lease will set out the provisions providing for such a situation, your Lawyer will then serve any required notice in accordance with those provisions, which will avoid any potential breach on the lessor’s part by then taking possession.

Professional, efficient and courteous.

“We have used Sam Roberts now on a number of occasions for various legal matters – including some very complex issues. On all occasions Sam and his team have been extremely professional, efficient and courteous.”

Brentwood Skin

Roberts Crosbie Mortensen were able to provide the best advice to minimise risk and ensure a smooth transaction.

“When it came time to sell we had a complicated transaction due to the nature of the tenancies and Roberts Crosbie Mortensen were able to provide the best advice to minimise risk and ensure a smooth transaction.”

James Johnson
Licensed Real Estate Agent

I hold complete confidence with this firm.

“As somebody who had never engaged with a Solicitor before, I was lucky enough to have Hamish Taylor and Amanda Crosbie assist with the execution of two commercial leases. The process was seamless, with regular and prompt communication, all whilst being friendly and approachable at the same time. I would not hesitate to contact them for any future legal needs.”

Lauren Aspinall

Christa’s communication is extremely strong and we highly recommend working with her.

“A huge thank you to Christa who made the process of purchasing our first home a lot less stressful. Christa was able to provide extensive knowledge and information which helped us immensely as it can be a very overwhelming time.”

Emily P

Christa went above and beyond with her service and professionalism.

“Any enquiries we had were always dealt with very promptly, we would highly recommend her services.”

Kerrie and Laurie Coglan

I would strongly recommend (and have) for any friends or colleagues to use Roberts Crosbie Mortensen Lawyers.

“Being a business owner we have used Roberts Crosbie Mortensen Lawyers for several issues including setting up our business, Franchise agreements and even commercial leases. On all occasions the information has been prompt, accurate, reliable and understandable. On the back of this we have also used Sam and his team to do our wills and property purchases for all of our personal work. Again always reliable, contactable, professional and above reproach.”

Luke Stevens
Amber Tiles

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