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How to sublease or assign a retail lease in the Northern Territory

Circumstances may arise when a tenant seeks to sub-let or assign their lease over retail premises. There are strict guidelines on method of seeking consent and whether the landlord is permitted to withhold their consent.

If your tenant is seeking consent to sub-let or assign their retail lease, remember:

  • Your tenant must comply with the legislation – including seeking consent in writing;
  • Failure to respond may imply landlord consent;
  • Be mindful that the landlord must respond within a certain timeframe;
  • Check the terms of your lease whether ‘absolute discretion’ permitted;
  • Generally cannot unreasonably withhold consent
    • Consult the relevant legislation in your jurisdiction as to whether you can withhold consent and under what circumstances; and
  • If you are unsure about consenting to sub-letting or assigning a lease over your retail premises, consult independent legal advice.

Click here for Retail Lease Agreement Kit

These are the details specific to the Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act 2003 in the Northern Territory

Disclosure Details

Landlord entitled to seek further information on financial standing and relevant business experience of new tenant.

Landlord Response Time

42 days

Circumstances Landlord consent may be withheld

  • Change to use of shop
  • Assignee does not have financial resources or retailing skills to fulfil all obligations
  • Non-compliance with ss 56 and 57.

No Response Implies Consent?


Absolute Discretion permitted?

Yes – Lease may permit absolute discretion (section 59)



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