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What to do before you lease a retail or commercial property


Friday 20 October 2017

Leasing business premises is a very large and complex commitment.  It is very important that you take your time to consider the suitability of the premises and the lease that comes with them. 

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner (OSBC) is the statutory body that manages the lodgement of retail and commercial lease bonds and is responsible for the administration of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (the Act). The office also provides a support service to lessors and lessees in relation to their rights and responsibilities under the Act. Amendments to the Act are currently being discussed in Parliament.

“OSBC staff handle enquiries every day in relation to issues with lease agreements for retail and commercial premises,” said Small Business Commissioner, John Chapman. “We often find that the lessee has not sought the correct advice, or any at all, which can cause a myriad of issues for them.”

While the Act sets out the key rights and obligations that the lessee and lessor have, many of the day-to-day matters that arise during the occupancy of the premises are contained in the lease agreement. 

Along with the City of Victor Harbor and Business Victor Harbor, the OSBC are looking to provide local business with some valuable information about how to avoid major issues with the lease agreement in the future.

“Unpacking the complexities around your lease is critically important for small businesses as it may avoid expensive and restrictive pitfalls at some point in the future.” Nick Gormley, Chair, Business Victor Harbor said.

James Rock, Case and Education Manager with the OSBC, will present this information session which will provide some useful advice about what you should do before you sign a lease agreement. Mr Rock will outline the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 and what the proposed amendments will mean for tenants as well as dealing with common lease problems such as repairs and maintenance, renewing your lease and arrears of rent.

“Small businesses looking to lease premises should attend this free information session to gain a better understanding of their responsibilities under the Act. We also have a useful resource, the Retail and Commercial Leases Guide, which outlines some of the key points and provides a checklist for lessees and lessors,” Mr Chapman said.

The Guide is available online here or from the OSBC Shopfront located at 99 Gawler Place, Adelaide.

The Retail and Commercial Leasing for Small Businesses information session is being held on Thursday 26 October 2017, 5:30pm – 7:00pm at the Anchorage Hotel, 21 Flinders Parade, Victor Harbor. Registration is essential as places are strictly limited. For more information or to register visit the Office of the Small Business Commissioner website at or contact the Office on 8303 2026.

Media contact: John Chapman, Small Business Commissioner on 8303 2026.

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