Retail and commercial leases

In order to deliver better outcomes for NSW Small Businesses, the Retail Tenancy Unit has now become part of the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner's Dispute Resolution Unit.

The Dispute Resolution Unit provides information and strategic advice about any small business dispute, whether retail or commercial leasing, business to business, or business to Government.

Retail tenancy

A lease is at the centre of the relationship between a landlord and a tenant of a retail shop. Entering into a lease is a huge commitment. These contracts are often for 5 years and may run up to 25 years. As with many business deals, things do not always go to plan. As well as the payment of monthly rent, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord under the Retail Leases Act 1994 and below is a list of documents, the Small Business Info Kit which explains this for you.

The Small Business Info Kit

Unless you have experience in commercial leasing, you should get advice from an expert. The odds are that the other party is experienced in this area, so you need to level the playing field. To help you understand what you need to know about leasing, the Small Business Info Kit in the links below, will take you step by step through the process.

You can also contact us on 1300 795 534 or email we.assist@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

Retail Leases Act 1994

How to determine the current market rent?

When the lease states that the rent is to be reviewed to current market rent, then the Retail Lease Act 1994 (the Act) sets out the procedure for how the rent can be determined.

For further information on this process download the Market Rent Review fact sheet.

Appointing a specialist retail valuer

When a landlord and tenant cannot agree on the current market rent a specialist retail valuer (SRV) can be appointed to determine the amount of rent to be paid.

Parties should attempt to agree on the appointment of an SRV themselves. For a list of SRVs visit the Australian Property Institute website or call (02) 9299 1811 or go to .

If you are unable to agree on the appointment of a SRV the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner can make the appointment for you. To request an SRV appointment download and complete the SRV application form.

Review of a SRV determination

If you believe the rental determination made by an SRV is incorrect you may seek a review 21 days after receiving a copy of the original determination. To request a review download and complete the Review application form.