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How to sublease or assign a retail lease in New South Wales (NSW)

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 Retail Leases Act 1994 in NSW

Disclosure Details

Tenant must provide landlord with disclosure statement and information on new tenant (shop type, financial information, business experience).

Landlord Response Time

28 days

Circumstances Landlord consent may be withheld

  • Proposal to change premises use.
  • Financial position or retail skills inferior.
  • Non-compliance with s 41.

No Response Implies Consent?


Absolute Discretion permitted?


Lease may permit absolute discretion (section 42)


Landlord must comply with tenant request for copy of disclosure statement within 14 days (section 41)

Go to a summary of every state in Australia.