Property & Leasing Law
Fletcher Law are experienced property lawyers in Perth that can assist in buying or selling a property, building a new home, planning a subdivision or developing or leasing commercial premises. We understand the many legal issues and risks that can arise.
Our clients include property developers, real estate agents, shopping centre owners and surveyors.
Our property lawyers have experience in a wide range of property transactions and can assist in the following areas:
- sales and acquisitions;
- commercial and retail leasing;
- construction contracts;
- easements, covenants and other encumbrances;
- tenant / landlord disputes;
- default notices;
- legal proceedings in any Court or Tribunal (including the SAT);
- advice on loan and mortgage documents; and
- advice on contaminated land issues.
Our property lawyers do not provide conveyancing services, however we have a strong working relationship with One Stop Settlements who can assist you with your conveyancing matters.
Examples of recent work by our property lawyers:
- advising on complex subdivisions and developments, including the redevelopment of Belmont Park;
- an application for sale of property pursuant to Section 126 of the Property Law Act 1969;
- assisting an owner of a large retail shopping centre with various leasing matters including compliance with the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985, negotiating and preparing leases and enforcing lease provisions;
- advising on an adverse possession claim;
- advising on the application of the margin scheme to a large residential subdivision; and
- successfully representing a client seeking to avoid contracts to purchase apartments “off the plan” pursuant to the Strata Titles Act 1985.
Commercial leasing and residential leasing: Our leasing lawyers have expertise in all aspects of leasing and act for both landlords and tenants in preparing and negotiating leases, enforcing lease terms and conditions and representing clients in lease disputes.
We have considerable experience in retail shop leasing. On 1 January 2013 the amendments to the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985 (WA) (the Act) and the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Regulations 1985 (the Regulations) came into effect. The amendments to the Act follow an extensive review of commercial tenancy law in Western Australia and seek to increase disclosure requirements for landlords and to enhance security of tenure for, and the negotiating power of, tenants.
Key amendments to the Act and Regulations include:
- the introduction of a more comprehensive Disclosure Statement and an amended Tenant Guide;
- an obligation on landlords to give tenants notice of the date on which an option to renew a retail shop lease is no longer exercisable;
- the introduction of a “prescribed relocation clause” which a landlord may include in its retail shop lease to avoid the need to seek approval of the redevelopment provision from the State Administrative Tribunal;
- landlords are no longer able to pass on costs (including legal costs) relating to the preparation, negotiation or execution of a retail shop lease including any renewal or extension of a lease (there is also a bar on recovering costs associated with obtaining any mortgagee consent and a landlord’s compliance with the Act);
- provisions which require the tenant to refurbish or refit premises will be void unless the clause provides sufficient detail as to the nature, extent and timing for completion of the refurbishment;
- the introduction of new provisions covering misleading and deceptive conduct; and
- market rent reviews can no longer take into account goodwill, structural improvements or alterations carried out, or paid for, by the tenant, and stock, fixtures or fittings that are not owned by the landlord.
It is important that landlords are aware of, and comply with, the Act including the amendments. If a retail shop lease does not comply with the Act there is a risk that the provisions of the lease will be considered void.
Examples of recent work by our leasing lawyers:
- assisting an owner of a large retail shopping centre with various leasing matters including compliance with the Act, negotiating and preparing leases and enforcing lease provisions;
- acting for a large engineering company embroiled in an industrial leasing dispute (issues included alleged environmental contamination, breach of covenants and repudiation);
- advising a large public listed company on negotiation of a premises construction and long term lease transaction; and
- advising the owner of a petrol station site in negotiation with the petroleum company tenant to renew the lease, with particular emphasis on site contamination issues.