Do I need to register my commercial or retail lease?
Some state laws require you to register the lease as a matter of course. Other states generally don’t require leases to be registered, or leave it up to you as to whether you wish to do so or not. The information below outlines the rules for New South Wales (NSW).
Some of the most common reasons to register your lease are:-
- to protect the tenant’s leasehold interest in the land against other dealings. For example, a lease registered over the land will continue in the event the land is ever sold to a third party. The new owner of the property will be bound to the terms of a lease registered over the land, as the lease attaches to the land, so to speak;
- that it may be a legal requirement in your state;
- to have an official record of the lease document on public record. This is useful in the event of a misunderstanding or dispute. It also enables interested parties such as lenders or prospective purchasers, to view the dealings registered over the land.
If I decide to register my NSW Commercial lease, what do I need to do?
You will need to lodge your Lease Agreement with the Land Titles Office in your State or Territory (the name of the office dealing with Land Titles will vary from state to state).
In most states, the Land Titles Office supplies a one or two page Form of Lease that is required to be lodged for registration. This Form is available as a free download from the Land Titles Office in each State or Territory.
The actual terms and conditions of the Lease, usually contained in the Lease Agreement itself, are then attached to the Land Titles Office form as an attachment or annexure. The Form, the Lease Agreement attachment, Certificate of Title and the set fee will need to be lodged with the Land Titles Office for registration. If all is in order, the Lease is recorded on the Certificate of Title for the property.
Do I need to register my Commercial Lease in NSW?
Yes. Legislation in New South Wales requires all leases to be in the Approved Form and registered with the exception of lease with a term of less than three years (including any option periods) in order to pass legal estate to the lessee (s’s 41, 42, 53 Real Property Act).
Although an unregistered lease may still be valid as between the parties, the tenant’s rights pursuant to an unregistered lease may not be effective against other competing registered interests, such as a subsequent transfer of the land to a new owner or a mortgagee in possession.
What do I need to do to register my lease?
You will need to complete and sign the Approved Form 07L.
This form needs to be lodged at the Department of Lands, together with the fully signed Lease Agreement as an annexure to the Approved Form 07L, the Certificate of Title, and the lodgement fee. A plan will also need to be lodged where only a part of the property is being leased, and not the whole of the lot.
What do I do now?
All of the necessary information and documents are contained in the Commercial Lease Agreement Template Kit – the Kit provides you with all the resources you need to create and register your own lease.
In certain states of Australia, it is a legal requirement for a commercial lease to be registered if the term exceeds 3 years (including the option periods). This article includes links to state specific information for registering your lease.
There are a variety of circumstances that might lead your tenant to ask for an assignment of the lease or to sublet the leased premises. This article outlines the steps a Landlord of a commercial property should take if your tenant asks this question.