Because a lease grant the lessee an interest in the lessor’s land, expert drafting is essential. A sub-standard lease can detract from the value of a landlord’s property or erode the viability of a tenant’s business. Our commercial leasing lawyers can assist with all your requirements.

Commercial Leasing

Commercial leases

Expert preparation of office space leases in new premises, on stand alone sites and community title locations are all efficiently completed exactly as to required specifications. Simply provide a copy of letter of intent or essential terms so that the job can be completed as quickly as you would like to have it up and running.

Negotiating a commercially viable lease requires you to know and understand the key terms and conditions contained in the lease clauses.ATO

Industrial leases

This type of lease is a species of a commercial lease that concerns a warehouse, factory or workshop type location. It has none of the special tenant protections that apply to retail leases but has all features common to other leases.

Particular requirements may be needed in relation to the particular site of the tenant’s business for example in relation to fire prevention, waste disposal, contamination, hardstand areas, modifications, stormwater and utilities.

Because industrial leases are often for a long-term, the documentation must be sufficiently robust and at the same time retain the flexibility to accommodate a change over time, in the nature of the tenant’s business.

Although it is an issue in drafting all leases, consideration of what constitutes a “capital” expense as opposed to maintenance deserve special consideration when preparing an industrial lease. The question arises frequently in relation to ageing air-conditioning equipment happens to whether it is reasonable to continue to require tenants to meet repair costs or whether “uneconomical repairs” should be born by the landlord because they are essential “capital” in nature.

A dispute between a retail or commercial landlord and its tenant can arise from many circumstances. Experienced business litigation lawyers are vital to expertly assess and prepare the arguments on behalf of a lessor or a lessee to determine if leasing disputes is required. Find out more

Commercial + Industrial leases are regulated to a far less extent than those in the retail context. There are nevertheless numerous issues – that apply to all types of leases – that need to be considered:

Lease in writing

Leases must be in writing to be enforceable but do not need to be formal. A lease is constituted for example, by an exchange of correspondence or emails or a single one-page document, as long as they see it is effectively “signed”.

A pre-lease document that specifies a start date, a period of the lease, estimated floor area, names of lessor and lessee, annual rent, the proportion of outgoings, the period of the lease, option periods etc is often signed before a formal lease is prepared. See “Letter of Intent” below.

Consumer protection

Lessees who are “small businesses” with up to a maximum 20 staff including casuals, will likely attract the “unfair terms” prohibition mandated in the Australian Consumer Law if the total rent for the period of lease does not exceed $1 million.


Lease registration is in many cases not mandatory but can provide additional protection to landlords and tenants.

If for more than 3 years (excluding options), the lease is – under Queensland law – required to be registered. Registration conveys to the lessee, an “indefeasible” title to a leasehold estate in the land. Lease registration is handled differently in each State.

Short-term leases for terms three years or less or periodic leases eg year-to-year have indefeasibility without being registered.

Registration of all leases that contain options to renew is recommended for tenants so as to protect the right to exercise the option. Without registration, such options can be ignored by a person who buys the premises from the original lessor.

Issues to consider in every lease

Regardless of your circumstances, our Commercial leasing lawyers will help you minimise costly risks associated with starting and operating your business.

Looking to get an assessment on the prospects of your success in a commercial leasing dispute? Try our free interactive assessment tool to see whether the issues in your dispute are likely to resolve in your favour.

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