The duty to pay rent regularly is a key term of a retail shop lease. Late payment of rent allows a landlord to take possession of the shop and lock you out (without written notice). Thinking about how much rent you are agreeing to pay is therefore vital. It is also important to remember that it is usual for the landlord to request for a cash bond or bank guarantee to be provided upon entering into a rental shop lease which will be withheld in case of unpaid money or unperformed obligations during or at the end of the retail shop lease. If you give a cash bond, the landlord must lodge it with the Office of NSW Small Business Commissioner. If there are disputes, the bond is held by the Office of NSW Small Business Commissioner until the matter is resolved.

Making sure that your business has sound financial backing is another preparatory essential. Appoint a professional to advise you on whether the business is a good investment and understand that even with the best advice, unexpected events can happen.

Council Checks

Local councils require written consent for certain types of businesses in certain localities. You should check with the local council before you sign a sign retail shop lease to see if written consent is needed for the type of business that you plan to run. The same applies if you are planning to do a shop “fit out” or building works – check with the council’s duty planner to see whether you need to lodge an application for development consent.