NSW Licence for Cafe Problems - Commercial Lease Agreement

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5 October 2014

I have a friend that has signed a licence agreement for a cafe that is run inside another shop. The Cafè is run within the main shop's trading hours but the other day my friend and 2 of his staff that he was paying to be there had to wait an hour and a half until someone came to open the main shop so he could get in to open the cafe inside. He also had to tell customers he wasn't sure what time he could open. He tried to call the licensor to see what was happening - no answer and finally when someone showed up, all he got was an 'oh sorry', but he still has to pay the licensor rent for the space and his staff that had to wait an hour and a half. Also, all the customers he had to turn away so losing sales and disappointing regular customers. What I want to know is could that be a breach in the agreement or is there anything under commercial law he could legally do because I don't think this is fair for him at all.


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
What does the sub-lease say about hours of operation?

Can your friend get his own key?


Dear Chris1111,

What your friend is entitled to will depend on the terms of the lease / sub-lease. This should reflect what was agreed to. If the lease states the operating hours and the lessor was in breach of this, then your friend would likely be entitled to demand damages in the amount of his loss. If not he may have more difficulty trying to enforce opening hours. He should make it clear to the lessor that his ability to pay rent depends on full unimpeded operating hours and consistent opening time.

Perhaps he should consider negotiating with the landlord / lessor some means of access to his part of the cafe independent of the main access - and rope off his space with partitions until the other part of the store is open.