Consider this before signing a commercial lease

If you are about to lease a commercial property to run your business from, it’s not just the real
estate agent you need to talk to. Commercial leases come in different shapes and sizes and before
you sign, there are several things to consider. Make sure to do your homework and don’t forget to
consult your lawyer before you commit to anything.
Tuesday, 31 March 2020


Whether it’s a showroom, retail space or hospitality business, or even just an area to park your
company vehicles, it’s important to have a lease which ensures that both you and your landlord have
a clear understanding of each other’s rights and obligations.

Paula Lines, director of The Law Shop, says that the Auckland District Law Society has a standard
form Deed of Lease that can be used. She says it is the easiest option because the terms are well
known, tested in other cases, and fully unambiguous.

Paula explains that many people settle for an Agreement to Lease, often prepared by the real estate
agent who has marketed the premises, and while the Agreement to Lease does say that the terms of
the current Deed of Lease apply, she points out that it is still important to also follow up with a
formal Deed of Lease.

“One of the reasons for this is that an Agreement to Lease doesn’t contain all the terms and
conditions you need to be aware of. If you haven’t seen the Deed of Lease, you may not be fully
informed of what you are agreeing to,” she clarifies.

“The Agreement says you’re bound by the Deed of Lease that is used at the time, but as that Deed is
updated from time to time, you need to know which version applies to you. Some significant
changes have been made after the Christchurch earthquakes for instance, so it’s important to know
whether it’s an earlier or latter one that applies.”

Signing a commercial lease is a big commitment, and you’ll have to make sure you’ve addressed
every aspect and issue before you sign. Renegotiating a lease is much more difficult once the terms
have been agreed and the lease is signed.

The team at The Law Shop is highly experienced in Business Law and happy to help if you require
guidance on your commercial lease. They can explain the ins and outs in a no-nonsense manner and
help finalise the documents to make sure they suit your business needs and goals.

“No matter if you’re starting out in business or if you’re expanding your existing venture, you are
welcome to book in a meeting with me or one of our other business lawyers to make sure you’ve
thought of everything on the legal side of things,” Paula says.

“In most cases, we can quickly asses what you need to suitably protect your business as well as your
personal assets.”

The Law Shop works from a virtual space in Tauranga and in Rotorua, the office can be found at 1268
Arawa Street. Call 0800 LAW SHOP or Contact Us to get in touch.