New Guide Designed To Inform And Help Avoid Retail Lease Disputes

Small businesses and landlords can source expert tips on researching market options, negotiating and managing retail leases with the launch of the latest update to the NSW Small Business Commission’s Retail Tenancy Guide.

Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott said the updated guide provides detailed advice for both lessees and lessors at each stage of a tenancy agreement: from knowing your rights and asking the right questions before the lease is signed, to the costs of leasing, how to resolve disputes and dealing with end of lease issues.

“The guide is a must read for small business and landlords.  Importantly, the guide provides practical tips and assistance that will assist both parties in being more fully informed,” Mr Elliott said.

Developed in consultation with business and key industry associations, the guide includes checklists to consider before signing a lease and a glossary of lease terms.

NSW Finance and Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope said it was particularly important that both parties, tenants and landlords, understood their rights and responsibilities, how to best negotiate lease terms and how to resolve issues if things go wrong.

“We encourage small businesses and landlords to use this guide in researching leasing options and at every stage of the life of a retail lease but especially before signing or renewing a lease,” Mr Tudehope said.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said smaller retailers were often unaware of their rights under retail leases.

“This guide will be a great help for businesses facing issues with their lease and who need to understand their options,” Mr Zahra said.

The guide does not replace professional advice or cover every aspect of the law. Tenants and landlords are strongly advised to get independent professional advice before signing a lease and should also visit smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 795 534 for further information.

In the event of any disputes during the lease, the NSW Small Business Commissioner, administers the Retail Leases Act 1994, and provides a cost-effective mediation service.