Negotiating lease terms for your business, be it a retail shop lease or a commercial lease (a warehouse, a factory or so office space) can be a minefield. Our lawyers (solicitors) advise on Retail Shop Leases and Commercial Leases Queensland wide.
The agent works for the landlord
Firstly remember that the letting agent works for the Landlord and once the Lease is signed the agent is gone on you are left with the landlord.
Having said that the agent gets paid if they are able to facilitate an agreement between you and the landlord so they will generally work hard to try and strike an agreement.
Take care about “Agreements to Lease” or “Letters of Intent”. They can easily be binding which means that you will be left with little room to negotiate when you are presented with the 30-50 page lease document. Ask our Property Law team of lawyers (solicitors) to have a look at it before you sign it and suggest some changes to ensure that it is a statement of intention only and not a binding Agreement to Lease.
Some threshold questions for the letting agent
- What rent are other tenants paying in the building? If they are registered leases, this is a matter of public record.
- What incentives is the landlord prepared to offer?
- Will my intended use be permitted as of right under town planning constraints for the premises?
- Has the site or the premises been affected by flooding?
- Are there any road widening proposals affecting the site?
Now usually the formal lease document will say that you have not relied on any representations the agent has made but at least you may be altered to matters that will require some further due diligence by you.
Quiz other tenants
If there are other tenants in place in the building, try and have a chat to other business owners and ask questions like:
- Is the landlord a reasonable person?
- Does the landlord take concerns from tenants seriously and respond to those concerns with action in a timely manner?
- Is the landlord spending money on the upkeep of the building?
- Are you happy in this building?
Stay tuned for more leasing tips.
Need advice on a Lease? Ask us for a fixed fee High Point Advice conference with one of our property lawyers (solicitors) – advising on Retail Shop Leases and Commercial Leases Queensland wide.