• New laws introduced on 30 November 2016 allow for the forced sale of units in an apartment

    The strata management industry is in for a significant shake up with the “once-in-a-generation” changes to strata laws being introduced on November 30, 2016. The NSW Government has amended the laws regarding the management of apartment buildings allowing 75% of owners in apartment blocks will be able to sell...

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  • ATO targeting property investors

    A recent taxpayer alert [Trusts mischaracterising property development receipts as capital gains] concerning property development and the use of trusts is significant for property developers. Taxpayer Alert 2014/1, describes an arrangement whereby a trust undertakes property development activities as part of its...

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  • Chinese regulators may turn off the money flow that is funding the Australian real estate bubble

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  • Changing A SMSF Trustee to a Corporate Trustee

    Benefits of a Corporate Trustee 1. Changing Members If an SMSF is set up with a corporate trustee structure you can add a member (e.g. a spouse or child) or remove a member (e.g. if a member dies or can no longer act as trustee) with much less hassle than an individual trustee structure. If there is a ch...

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  • Our Legal Fees & Services

    At GMH Legal we believe that client relationships matter more than time sheets which is why we offer a range of alternative fee arrangements to best suit your needs. Our focus is on client service and establishing mutually rewarding relationships with our clients. We think that billing by the hour does not ...

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  • Homebuyer’s Guide to Conveyancing

    Buying your first home can be a confusing process, particularly when it comes to conveyancing. Taking your first step on to the property ladder can be an exciting time. But for those who have never been involved in a property purchase, the conveyancing process can often seem hard to understand. What i...

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Contact Us

Suite 309 – 310, Level 3
13A Montgomery Street

Ground Floor
54 Martin Place

Email: solicitors@gmhlegal.com
Phone: (02) 9587 0458
Facsimile: (02) 9587 2936


Each business has different requirements, and it is important to consider your business needs and priorities when deciding on a location for your business to lease.

What to consider before signing a lease?

Signing a retail lease is a large financial commitment so before you sign anything make sure you completely understand and agree with the clauses in the leases. We encourage you to get some substantial financial and legal advice before signing a retail lease.

Some question to consider include:

  • What are your business requirements (growth, traffic etc.)
  • Do you need licenses or permits for your business?
  • The term of the lease
  • Are you granted an option at the end of the lease?
  • Vacancy rates in the area
  • Physical condition of the premises
  • Fit out – permissions and approvals required and who is responsible for paying
  • Is a security bond or deposit required?
  • Insurance
  • Access – Are there set hours for trading?
  • Landlord’s rights.

Legislation (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

NSW has law protecting retail leases tenants (Retail Leases Act). If your lease imposes conditions that you feel are harsh and unnecessary, you should familiarize yourself with the unconscionable conduct provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Key examples of conduct that the Court has declared unconscionable include:

  • Blatant disregard of industry codes of conduct or other law
  • Unreasonably withholding information
  • Attempting to terminate a commercial agreement for contrived reasons
  • Conduct calculated to harm the smaller business
  • Failing to honour terms of a retail lease
  • Unreasonably refusing to renew or transfer a lease
  • Granting exclusivity to one business, while at the same time negotiating with another business hour for a license that would impinge on that of the first business.
  • Terminating a contract in a way that is capricious and unreasonable in circumstances where there was not a sufficient basis to terminate the contract.


There may be times during the lease period when you and the landlord do not see eye to eye. How you handle these moments can have a huge effect on the success of your business.

Informal negotiation

At GMH Legal we believe that the first step is to try to resolve the dispute through informal negotiation. An open discussion, which avoids laying blame, can be a good way for both parties to air their differences and quickly resolve them.

If you reach a solution, make sure that you and the landlord write down how the problem was resolved. This provides you with a document that you and the landlord can refer to if there is still a misunderstanding or if other problem surfaces.


If you want to take the dispute further, you can apply to the Retail Tenancy Unit for mediation. You need to pay an application fee of $180 and you and your landlord will be contacted for a meeting with a mediation officer.

Mediators are trained to help parties reach a mutual agreement. Generally, each side makes some compromise. The mediator doesn’t decide the outcome or provide legal advice, instead he/she helps the tenant and landlord see the advantages and disadvantages or settling the dispute before it escalates.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

If your matter is not resolved, most often the next step is to take the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

The Tribunal is an independent decision making body which hears and decides applications for orders from tenants and landlords.

Call the experienced team at GMH Legal to assist you in your matter. A free consultation with GMH Legal is an opportunity to gain deep insights into your legal situation and all of your options.

Why Choose GMH Legal?

  • Over 60 years of combined legal experience
  • Outstanding track record with a winning approach
  • First appointment is always free
  • Meet our team now.

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