How a retail and commercial tenant advocate can help you

A retail and commercial tenant advocate simply put is someone who gives advice to commercial tenants.

They are specialised providers that act specifically in the interests of tenants including small business tenants, and for a fee may provide professional guidance and advocacy to establish a positive relationship with your commercial landlord, among other things.

How can they help me?
Not every small business owner has the time or skills to research the commercial tenancy market or negotiate with their landlord.

A tenant’s advocate may help you:
• to search for new premises
• to negotiate the terms of your lease, including at the time of renewal
• understand common terms in leases, pitfalls, and how they may impact you
• to negotiate an early exit or mutual surrender and advise you on a suitable ‘exit strategy’
• to resolve a lease or landlord dispute/s
• to understand what your business needs are in terms of floor space, access, and trading hour categories, and fit out requirements
• to determine what your business amenity needs are e.g., if a kitchen is required, lighting and accessibility requirements, and will check the premises/lease includes these provisions.

A retail and commercial tenant advocate can advise you on the operational aspects of commercial leasing, negotiate terms that are in your best interest and provide information on the current market conditions.

It is important to note that some commercial leasing lawyers may also provide these services and ensure compliance with relevant legal requirements and make sure your rights are protected.

How do I find a retail or commercial tenant advocate?
Some industry associations include access to commercial and retail tenant advocates as a member benefit – we understand that COSBOA, the National Retailers Association, and the Australian Hairdressing Council include access to these service providers as a member benefit.

An internet search will provide you with contacts of commercial tenant advocates or you may find articles on specific topics that you are currently experiencing that are written by commercial tenant advocates.

Check with your industry association to see if they can arrange access for you.

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