The value of water tight leasing agreements
A lease agreement is a very significant contract and should not be taken lightly. A well-drafted agreement is essential to a healthy and effective relationship; an unfair or misunderstood one may bring bitterness and financial pain.
Bliss Conveyancing strongly recommends having proposed leases reviewed by a Licensed Conveyancer. Our team will provide you with a breakdown of the lease elements, explain the legal jargon and warn you of the pitfalls.
Whether you are leasing a commercial or a retail property, your lease agreement sets out the contractual rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. Negotiating these terms is not unusual and is an integral aspect of the process.
When negotiating your lease, the following elements are typically significant:
- Security Bond amounts.
- The duration of the lease.
- The rent and frequency of payments and rent reviews.
- Consequences of late payment or lease breaches.
- Maintenance provisions.
- Renewal options.
One of these issues could bring a tenant unstuck; a number of them could create a disaster. Understanding and negotiating the small print is very important.
As with residential properties, the payment of ‘bond’ may not be optional, but you may be able to negotiate the amount and/or circumstances under which the landlord claims this money. This payment is lodged with the NSW Small Business Commissioner in trust until the lease is finished and final inspections have been made.
Rent amounts and the frequency of payments may significantly impact cashflow. Is this something you should negotiate? Are you aware that the rental fee cannot be changed during the lease period, unless agreed upon by the landlord and tenant? It is important to know this and your other rights.
Are you satisfied that the consequences that apply to a breach are fair? If not, negotiate.
As far as maintenance and repairs are concerned, the lease should clearly define what both parties are responsible for.
If there is a renewal option this usually allows the tenant to renew the lease (usually) 3 to 6 months before the existing lease ends. Would you prefer a variation to this?
Any one of these elements could cause pain, expense and confusion. Together, when setup correctly, these contractual factors allow ease and productivity. This is why investing the services of a conveyancer is usually money very well spent.