NSW Retail lease Dispute

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31 October 2019
Dear Valuable solicitors,
I am in a dire position at the moment and need your advise. I have taken a lease in August 2019 for a shop in Sydney. There is no real estate agent involved and direct owner has leased it. The owner had sent his representative to show me the shop and based on this, I had accepted the rent. However, after signing the contract, his solicitor sent the Lessor disclosure statement (which was not sent to me at all). The next day, they modified the area of the premise in the disclosure statement once again without consulting with me or my solicitor. Due to this, the shop is of very limited use. I tried to contact the owner in this regard; however, he doesn't want to lease the previously mentioned area.
I have already spent almost 25000 dollars to get the council approval and shop fitout; however, I am willing to come out of the lease. What are my options? I am happy to talk to someone in person.


Well-Known Member
8 November 2015
Hi New Retail

Disclosure statements for the leasing of commercial property should always be sighted, agreed to and signed by both a lessor (landlord) and a lessee (tenant) to indicate agreement between each as to the terms of a contract. The statement should then be formally witnessed and each party provided with a copy. Disclosure statements are intended to set out exactly what the contract for leasing of premises terms are. If this had been done before you signed a contract to lease the premises, you would have known exactly in terms of space, room etc that you were getting for the rent payable under the lease.

By signing the lease, you have agreed to and are legally bound to pay the rent for the term stipulated within the lease. A clause would exist in the lease whereby the landlord may take action to recover any unpaid rent for the duration of the lease, whether or not you carry out business in the premises for the lease term. This means that you could be held liable to pay rent for the entire term of the lease whether you carry on a business there or not.

A possibility is to arrange negotiation with the lessor to exit the lease sooner and before the lease expires. It is possible the lessor may agree to terminate the contract earlier as you no longer want to proceed with it. You may be able to remove and sell your fittings. This would ensure you were no longer bound by the contract terms as well as allow your assets (fittings) to be sold. This would depend upon the lessor agreeing though and he may not which would leave you financially liable under the lease for the duration of it's term.

It is seriously, and I cannot emphasise enough, in your best interests to consult a lawyer in your state that specialises in property law.

Best of luck with this.